The 4G spectrum auctions recently concluded for India. As expected, Jio spent the most money buying 488.35 MHz of spectrum by spending Rs 57,123 crores. Airtel spent Rs 18,699 crores and acquired 355.45 MHz of spectrum, followed by Vodafone Idea (Vi), spending Rs 1,993 crores to acquire 11.80 MHz of spectrum. Do you have any idea about how the spectrum auctions affect you and India? If not, three major things are expected to happen, and one of them is Airtel and Jio’s duopoly in the 5G market.
How Are the Spectrum Auctions Going to Affect You?
The first most likely thing that you will experience is a better network experience. With the additional spectrum in bags, telcos can deploy them in the areas they need to enhance their network quality. Call drops and slow data might become a thing of the past for many users across the country, especially for Jio customers.
With tariff prices close to the same, it will come down to the operator who provides the best quality network to its users. This is already evident with Airtel outperforming Jio in the last two quarters.
The second thing that might happen post spectrum auctions is Vi and Airtel asking users to switch to 4G. Both the telcos provide older generation 2G and 3G networks to their users. Airtel and Vi might start offering lucrative offers to motivate users to switch to 4G. This would help the telcos in bringing down their network costs since they won’t have to spend on keeping up 4G as well as 2G and 3G networks.
Telcos still have a lot of room in increasing their average revenue per user (ARPU) since 4G penetration in India is still around 50% to 55% currently.
Lastly, there is a strong possibility that Jio and Airtel might create a 5G duopoly in India. There is no way Vi would be able to invest in 5G the way Jio and Airtel can. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is so far behind even Vi in terms of rolling out new networks that it would take years for it to roll out 5G.
Thus, Jio and Airtel might emerge as a duopoly for the 5G market in India. The telcos have said that their networks are 5G ready and have invested in the sub-GHz bands, which will be essential for providing 5G services.
The 5G spectrum auctions might happen in the next six months or so. A solid date for the same is yet to come from the government.