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Government earns Rs 113.4 billion in spectrum auction: 141.4 MHz sold out of balance 533.6 MHz

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In Short:

The Department of Telecommunications conducted a spectrum auction in 2024, selling 141.4 MHz of spectrum worth Rs 113.4 billion. No bidding occurred in certain bands due to ongoing 5G monetization. Airtel, Jio, and Vi successfully bid for spectrum, with Airtel acquiring the largest mid-band spectrum pool. Jio expanded its spectrum footprint in Bihar and West Bengal. Vi spent Rs 35.1 billion to strengthen its 4G portfolio and launch 5G services. Unsold spectrum will be auctioned again later. Overall, telecom companies invested in spectrum to improve services and meet customer demands in India’s evolving digital landscape.

The Big Spectrum Auction: A Summary

Breaking news! The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) conducted a spectrum auction starting on June 25, 2024, and wrapping up after seven rounds on June 26, 2024. The auction saw 141.4 MHz (26.5 per cent) of the available 533.6 MHz spectrum, valued at a whopping Rs 113.4 billion, being sold.

5G Dominates the Auction

While the auction saw no takers for spectrum in the 800MHz, 2300MHz, 3300MHz, and 26GHz bands, all available spectrum in bands like 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz were up for grabs. Notably, the action was particularly lively in the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, and 2500 MHz bands due to ongoing 5G monetization efforts.

Key Players in the Game

All major telecom service providers (TSPs) such as **Bharti Airtel**, **Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited**, and **Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi)** participated in the auction, securing spectrum for their growth and service continuity. Renewing expired spectrum and acquiring additional frequencies worth Rs 61.64 billion, these players are gearing up for enhanced services and network quality.

Airtel Takes the Lead

**Airtel** emerged as a major buyer, spending Rs 68.57 billion to secure 97 MHz of spectrum and solidify its mid-band spectrum holdings. The company’s strategic acquisition aims at providing seamless 4G and 5G services across the nation, aligning with their vision to deliver top-notch digital solutions.

Jio Steps Up its Game

**Reliance Jio** also sealed the deal by acquiring additional spectrum in targeted regions, demonstrating its commitment to enhancing network coverage and quality of service. With an expanded spectrum portfolio, Jio is bullish on maintaining its leadership position in the market.

Vi Aims for Expansion

**Vodafone Idea (Vi)** shelled out Rs 35.1 billion to bolster its 4G offerings and gear up for the forthcoming 5G services. With strategic spectrum acquisitions in key circles, Vi is eyeing a stronger presence and improved network capacity to cater to evolving customer needs.

Future Plans

As the unsold spectrum will be back on the auction block in the future, the industry is bracing for more action-packed bidding rounds in the days to come.

Stay tuned for more updates on the telecom spectrum landscape!

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