India 5G auction ends with bids falling well short of reserve

5g spectrum

As expected, India's latest 5G spectrum auction has drawn to a close, raising far less than the government hoped.

The Economic Times reports that bidding ended after just seven rounds, with the total weighing in at INR113 billion ($1.35 billion), a fraction of the INR960 billion ($11.49 billion) reserve price.

According to the outlet's various sources, just 140 MHz-150 MHz of the 10.5 GHz of available spectrum is believed to have been sold.

The ET, citing a research note from equity analyst Motilal Oswal, said Bharti Airtel is expected to emerge as the biggest bidder, splashing an estimated INR54 billion to bulk up in some service areas – or circles as they are called in India – and renew licences in others.

More specifically, it is expected to have picked up 41.4 MHz of 900-MHz; 10.2 MHz of 1800-MHz; and 20 MHz of 2100-MHz.

Market leader Reliance Jio's participation was decidedly limited by comparison.

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