5G Spectrum: Finally 5G spectrum auction was successful, the central government got a profit of Rs 1.5 lakh crore
5G Spectrum: 5G Spectrum The auction was going on for seven days, the government has collected revenue of 1.5 lakh crore rupees from this auction. While Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio will launch 5G networks across the country, Vodafone-Idea has been favored to bid in some circles. By the end of the year, 5G service will be started across the country. The trial of 5G started in 2017. After that 5G spectrum was auctioned after about five years. The government broke the previous record of revenue from spectrum auctions in 2015 by raising over Rs 1.50 lakh crore. At that time the government had raised Rs 1.09 lakh crore from the sale of 4G spectrum. A total of 72 GHz spectrum worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore was blocked in the auction this time. It will be valid for 20 years.
The auction of spectrum has been successful in the last few days. But in 2017 there was a proposal to sell 5G airwaves in the 3000 MHz band. Also the previously unsold 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz bands could not be sold. TRAI consulted the stakeholders for this. However, the spectrum auction after that was not successful. Because some telecom companies had demanded to withdraw the spectrum sale. Then in 2018, the Telecom Regulatory Authority i.e. TRAI recommended 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 3300-3600 MHz bands as 5G bands. But telcos found it very expensive, especially in the 700 MHz band.
In 2019, the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) fixed the price of the 8,300 MHz band at Rs 5.2 lakh crore for 2020 despite the Supreme Court ruling against telcos in the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) case.
The debt-ridden Vodafone Idea companies were likely to be closed, so the government gave relief to these companies. The government gave them relief for the pending payment of AGR dues. But knew that this sends the wrong message. Therefore, it was decided that these companies would not be able to bid in the upcoming 5G spectrum sale. After giving relief to telecom companies, the government had bid for 5G spectrum in March last year. In this, only 37 per cent of the total spectrum was traded for Rs 77,815 crore. However, the government has not received any bids for spectrum in the 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands. Because even cash-rich companies like Reliance Jio found the cost too high.
Last week, for the first time, the government was able to do double bidding for 700 MHz spectrum. For this, the government has got a revenue of Rs 1.5 lakh crore. UBS said the 51GHz spectrum, or 71 percent of the 72 GHz airwaves, was sold for up to Rs 1.5 trillion (US$19bn), a higher-than-expected price. One can understand the strategy of the companies to achieve 3300 MHz pan India instead of buying spectrum after stumbling for two or three years. But Jio buying 10 MHz in the expensive 700 MHz band, and that too for all of India, is surprising, UBS said.
The successful auction of 5G spectrum is a sign of the growth of the country’s telecom sector. Pradeep Multani while talking to ABP News said that the Indian industry is on the path of expansion and is entering a new growth cycle based on the auction proceeds.