The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has released a press note revealing the pre-qualified bidders and their earnest money deposit (EMD) for the upcoming spectrum auction. India is having a spectrum auction after more than three years, but sadly, this auction will not have 5G airwaves. In the spectrum auction 2021, the DoT is auctioning 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHZ & 2500 MHz bands. The new press release confirms Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea as the pre-qualified bidders. Out of the three telcos, Jio has put in an EMD of Rs 10,000 crore, while Vodafone Idea deposited just Rs 475 crore.
Jio Shows Clear Intentions of Grabbing More Spectrum
As everyone expected, Reliance Jio will be renewing/purchasing more license in the upcoming auction. The three telcos have paid Rs 1,00,000 towards application fee for participating in the auction. Since Jio has put an EMD of Rs 10,000 crore, the DoT has allocated 'Eligibility Points' of 73,007. Bharti Airtel's Rs 3,000 crore EMD means the telco has been allocated with 24,924 eligibility points. Lastly, Vi is last on the list with just 6,153 eligibility points due to its Rs 475 crore EMD.
The three telcos can bid in any band in any telecom service area, subject to the availability of spectrum and other factors. Bharti Airtel's net worth is Rs 71,303.10 crore and the same of Reliance Jio is Rs 1,79,617.00 crore. Vodafone Idea's net worth stands at Rs (-) 43,474.70 crore.
Reliance Jio is expected to bid for spectrum worth Rs 50,000 to Rs 70,000 crore as the telco will be looking to renew its spectrum in several circles. Furthermore, by adding more spectrum, Jio will also be looking to meet the growing 4G data needs of the customers. Jio will be looking to acquire most of the spectrum in 800 MHz band. The spectrum auction will begin on March 1. After this 4G spectrum auction, the DoT might hold another auction for 5G airwaves.