5G spectrum auction bids cross Rs1.50 lakh cr

Due to an increase in demand for radiowaves in the UP East circle, bids for the 5G spectrum auction that can provide ultra-high-speed internet totaled Rs 1,50,130 crore until Sunday, extending the bidding period to a seventh day on Monday.

On Sunday's sixth day of the auction, seven additional rounds of bidding 'dialled in' an additional Rs 163 crore, pushing the total spectrum sale above the Rs 1.50 lakh crore threshold.  According to information made public by the telecom department, in the first six days of the auction, provisional bids totaling Rs. 1,50,130 crore were received.

As per sources, the UP East circle, which covers Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, and Kanpur, saw bidding activity pick-up once more for 1800 MHz, a band that telecoms generally use for 4G services, on Sunday after a relatively softening of demand on Saturday.

All of the additional spectrum sales on Sunday were made in UP East, which has more than 10 crore mobile subscribers, in the midst of a fierce competition for radiowaves between companies like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel. Bharti Airtel has 3.7 crore customers, Vodafone Idea had 3.29 million, and Reliance Jio had 3.29 million as of May. (2.02 crore).

Between Wednesday and Friday, there was a high in the amount of bids for the 1800 MHz band in the Uttar Pradesh East circle, and on Saturday, there was a slight decline. On Sunday, however, there was a surge in interest, and sources said that the demand for spectrum was once more greater than the supply. Due of the lack of 900 MHz radio spectrum in UP East, all three private operators are reportedly eager to increase their holdings in this band.

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