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Reliance and Airtel pick up more than half of total spectrum sold in 5G auction

Reliance spent Rs. 88,078 crore and Airtel spent almost half, i.e., Rs. 43,084 crore of this outlay after 40 rounds and 7 days of the 5G spectrum auction

India's largest telecom operator, Reliance Jio, dominated the 5G auction proceedings by picking up spectrum in 700MHz, 800MHz, 1800MHz, 3300MHz and 26GHz bands for a total of Rs. 88, 078 crore, according to a press release put out by the company. Airtel— Jio’s closest competitor and India’s second-largest carrier— spent nearly half (Rs. 43,084 crore) of Jio’s total outlay in the recently-concluded auction which lasted for forty rounds and seven days. Why it matters: The conclusion of auctions indicate that Indians will soon be able to access 5G on their phones with speeds considered to be ten times faster than 4G. The said conclusion also provides a snapshot of the financial health of telecom companies which had been reeling from economic stress in the last few years. How much spectrum has Reliance acquired: The acquisition has led to an increase in Jio’s total owned spectrum to 26,772 MHz in which the company acquired spectrum totalling 24,740 MHz in the latest auction. [caption id="attachment_166178" align="alignnone" width="1012"] Source: Reliance[/caption] Overview of Jio’s auction activity: The company ended up picking spectrum in all 22 circles which also includes spectrum in the pricey-but-crucial 700 MHz band. It is the only operator to acquire spectrum in that band across the country. The frequency band, 700 MHz, is capable of helping Jio provide 5G services with faster speeds, lower latency and better connectivity, the company said in its release. The firm has also picked up spectrum in the mid-band and mmWave (26 GHz) frequencies which are considered…

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