The government on Wednesday received bids worth Rs 1.49 lakh crore on day two amid aggressive bidding by Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel.
Emphasising that “good competition” is seen in almost all bands on auction, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the telecom sector is brimming with new energy.
Vaishnaw expressed happiness over the response received for the pricey 700 MHz band, which was left unsold in the last auctions.
The spectrum bidding will continue on Thursday. Bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz saw biggest investment bids.
Breaking the 2015 records, the first day of the 5G auction on Tuesday saw the government receive bids of Rs 1.45 lakh crore from the four contenders. Now, a total of five rounds have been completed.
The costliest 700 MHz band is ideal for coverage in high-density areas and deep data networks.
According to analysts, this band received bids worth nearly Rs 39,000 crore led by Reliance Jio.
Mahendra Nahata, Managing Director, HFCL, said that the launch of the 5G network will enable telecom operators to start providing a new generation of high bandwidth services to customers.
“5G will allow enterprises to embark on the Industry 4.0 journey, and it will help accelerate digital transformation across industries spanning manufacturing, retail, utilities, smart cities and more,” he added.
Pulkit Pandey, Principal Analyst, Gartner, told IANS that the interest in the 700 MHz band by the telecom companies “indicates the communications service providers (CSPs) are focusing on enhanced indoor coverage, where the 700 MHz band could play a crucial role”.
“This band could also help CSPs to provide standalone 5G services and introduce network slicing. This could be an indication for CSPs trying to also start working on standalone 5G,” Pandey added.
Reliance Jio has been the frontrunner of the 5G spectrum race in India followed by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Adani Data Networks.