Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are going to get tough competition from the Adani Group in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction. Both the telcos have to launch 5G for B2B as well as B2C applications. For this, the telcos would heavily bid for the mid-band spectrum in the 3.3-3.67 GHz band. Before the Adani Group’s entry, no bidding war was expected as Vodafone Idea didn’t have the money to do it in the first place. But now, Adani Group, with its rich cash resources and debt access, will be going up against the private telcos in the 5G spectrum auction.
According to an ET report, Reliance Jio and Airtel are likely to spend close to Rs 60,000 crore and Rs 50,000 crore in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction. Adani Data Networks, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Group, is expected to spend up to Rs 15,000 crore, while Vodafone Idea (Vi) might spend Rs 6,000 crore.
There may be an intense fight between Jio, Airtel and Adani to get the mid-band spectrum. Adani Group also wants to provide services in the B2B domain with 5G.
The telcos weren’t already happy with the reserve price of the airwaves. Now, this tough fight from the Adani Group would make this worse. It might get too costly for the telecom operators to roll out 5G networks in India because of this.
Indian Government to Benefit from This
But all of this would be a good thing for the Indian government, which would be netting all the revenues from the spectrum auction. The report mentions that Jio, Airtel, Adani, and Vi have put in Rs 6500 – Rs 7500 crore, Rs 6000 – Rs 7000 crore, Rs 2000 – Rs 2500 crore and Rs 600 – Rs 700 crore as earnest money deposits (EMD).
Companies participating in the spectrum auction need to submit EMD as part of the application process. The exact amount hasn’t been made public yet.