Spectrum auction 2021 ends with telcos placing bids worth Rs 778.14 billion; Jio top buyer

In the recent 4G spectrum auction, which concluded on March 2, 2021, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) fetched a total amount of Rs 778.14 billion after six rounds of bidding. A total of 2308.8 MHz of spectrum was put to auction, out of which usage rights were acquired for 855.6 MHz. Excluding spectrum in the 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands, this is about 60 per cent of the spectrum put to auction. On the operators’ front, Reliance Jio emerged as the biggest buyer, acquiring 488.35 MHz of 4G spectrum for Rs 571.22 billion. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel acquired 355.45 MHz of spectrum across the sub-GHz, mid-band and 2300 MHz bands for Rs 186.99 billion, while Vodafone Idea (Vi) acquired 11.8 MHz of spectrum worth Rs 19.93 billion in five circles. DoT has sent notices to telecom operators, demanding around Rs 219.19 billion as upfront payment for the spectrum bought in the auctions.

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