On the second day of the 5G auction on Wednesday, telecom operators committed bids worth Rs 1.49 trillion. The first day saw total bids by telcos at Rs 1.45 trillion. The auction is likely to be over on Thursday and the maximum bid amount is not likely to cross Rs 1.60 trillion.
There was good activity in the 700 MHz and 3,300 Mhz bands. Also, there was intense bidding in 1,800 MHz band for UP (East) circle, with an excess demand of 21 at the end of 9th round. Due to excess demand, the price has also increased for the circle. All the operators were bidding for the circle. Apart from this, price increment has not taken place in any other spectrum band in any circle. The reason price increment has not taken place is because enough spectrum quantity has been made available by the government.
Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that ‘good competition’ was seen in almost all bands on offer.
Vaishnaw expressed happiness at the response received for the 700 MHz band, which did not find any takers in the last two auctions held in 2016 and 2021. The coveted and expensive 700 MHz band is important for coverage of far-flung areas.
“The sector is coming with new energy, and that is reflected in response to 5G auctions,” Vaishnaw told reporters.
“I am happy to see good competition in the auction, good competition for almost all bands have come in,” he said, adding ‘bids worth `1.49 trillion have been received so far at the end of the 9th round’.
As per DoT data, there was high activity in 3,300 MHz band on Wednesday but there were no takers for spectrum in 600 Mhz band. The maximum interest has been shown by the operators in buying 3,500 Mhz band, which is a 5G band. As per industry watchers, one of the operators is likely to buy more than 100 Mhz in the band.
The government has made available 72 GHz spectrum worth Rs 4.3 trillion. But this time too, all the spectrum in not likely to be sold.
More than 60% of spectrum remained unsold in 2016 and March 2021 auctions as operators found reserve price to be too high.
“The 2022 spectrum auction for 5G roll out has been by far the best auction in the past few years. With more than 75% of earnest money deposit (EMD) amount having been utilised on Day 1, Day 2 was expected to focus on select participation on 26Ghz and 3.5 Ghz. 700 Mhz has been preferred by operators to drive focus on indoor use cases, broadcasting use cases and relatively quicker roll outs with fewer number of towers required,” Purushothaman KG, partner and head, digital solutions & telecommunications industry leader, KPMG India, said.