After seven days of bidding, the 5G spectrum auction got wrapped up on Monday evening, with the government mopping up over Rs 1,50,173 crores in bid amount. Amid heavy speculations on when 5G services will roll out in India, Electronics & Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told ANI that the high-speed mobile network service will be launched in the country by October this year. Jio led the bidding rounds with a purchase amount of Rs 88,078 crores. Akash M Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm, said the company is set to lead India’s march into the 5G era and added “we will celebrate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ with a pan India 5G rollout”.
So, while Ambani’s comment may suggest a 5G rollout around India’s 75th Independence Day celebrations on August 15, Vaishnaw’s statement suggests that a broader rollout might actually take place in October. The minister said that by August 10, the allocation of spectrum to successful bidders will be completed and that the 5G services are likely to be launched by October.
“It seems we would be able to launch 5G in the country by October. The ongoing 5G spectrum auction indicates that the country’s telecom industry has come a long way in 5G advancements,” Vaishnaw said, adding that 5G availability will improve the quality of telecom services in India.
Speaking at a media briefing after the end of the spectrum auction, Vaishnaw said that about 71 percent of the total spectrum that was bid has been sold. A total of 72,098MHz was offered for auction. Out of that, 51,236MHz has been sold in this round of auction.
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Four operators placed bids during the auction — Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vi (Vodafone Idea), and Adani Data Networks. Jio led with a total bid of Rs 88,078 crores. Airtel came in second with Rs 43,084 crores. Vi (Vodafone Idea) came in third with Rs 18,799 crores. And lastly, Adani Data Networks placed a bid of Rs 212 crores.