India’s telecom operators have bid just over $19 billion in government auction for 5G, the highest in any spectrum sale, as the world’s second-largest wireless market gears up deployment of improved and faster voice and data speeds.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea competed aggressively for seven days and made the majority of bids, which the government said exceeded its expectations. Mogul Mukesh Ambani’s Jio, which counts Google and Meta among its backers, was the most aggressive bidder, a person familiar with the matter said. The final tally is underway and the results are expected to be shared later today.
Even though India is the second-largest wireless market, it has been slow compared to several markets in setting up the networks for the rollout of 5G technology, which carriers around the world say offers faster speeds. much faster data and could be instrumental in applications. around innovations in autonomous mobility and telemedicine and robotics among other industries.
The allure of faster speeds is likely to help telecom operators struggling with declining revenues in recent years to persuade consumers to pay more for data, analysts say.
India said it expects the rollout of 5G networks to start from October and hopes residents in several key cities will be able to enjoy a faster internet experience by the end of October. ‘year. Telecoms Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said last week that the government expected to complete the award in August.
Anticipating the rollout, phone makers have been selling handsets capable of supporting India’s 5G network for nearly two years. In fact, they shipped over 50 million 5G-enabled smartphones to the South Asian market, with a fifth of them arriving in the quarter that ended June this year, according to research firm Counterpoint. India is also the world’s second largest smartphone market and one of the fastest growing.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details.