India’s 5G auction has started from today. These are the companies in the race

According to a report, the number of 5G subscribers in India is expected to grow to 500 million by 2027. Mobile phones have become almost indispensable even among rural Indians in the vast country, with a farmer here seen taking a selfie during a protest in a stock photo from 2019.

Vishal Bhatnagar | AFP | Getty Images

India’s 5G auction begins on Tuesday and four local companies will be in the race to bid for the country’s first 5G spectrum. Planned rollout in 2023,

The bidders will include all three major mobile operators in India: Reliance Jio, market leader, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

The surprise entry of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani as the fourth contender may still rock the boat.

5G refers to the fifth generation of high-speed mobile Internet that promises super-fast download speeds that can support technologies such as driverless cars and virtual reality.

total of 72 GHz of 5G spectrum block, for which the winning bids will retain rights for 20 years.

in total, four bidders have put $2.7 billion (Indian Rupees 218 billion) In earnest money, the mandatory amount required to confirm the contract. The earnest money deposited indicates the amount of spectrum to be purchased by a company.

auction aggressive bidding by Reliance Industries’ Jio, which has deposited Rs 140 billion in earnest money with the government – the largest amount among the claimants.

Other major mobile operators include Bharti Airtel which deposited Rs 55 billion and Vodafone Idea which deposited Rs 22 billion as earnest money.

Adani enters the race for 5G

Adani Group The group, which mainly deals in infrastructure, puts in only INR 1 billion as earnest money, which entitles it to bid for only a limited amount of spectrum.

Before the identity of the fourth bidder was revealed, there was speculation of a new competitor in the mobile network and data space, raising hopes of a higher bidder.

However, the company went ahead to put an end to the speculation. When contacted by CNBC, the Adani Group denied plans to enter the mobile phone space.

“We are participating in the 5G spectrum auction to provide private network solutions with enhanced cyber security across airports, ports and logistics, power generation, transmission, distribution and various manufacturing operations,” the group said in a statement. “

While the small amount of earnest money That rejects Adani’s nationwide foray into the mobile space, leaving it still room to acquire enough spectrum to provide coverage in large cities such as Mumbai and New Delhi, an important market.

In India, “5G is projected to account for nearly 40 percent of mobile subscriptions – 500 million – by the end of 2027,” according to a Ericsson’s recent reportOne of the leading providers of 5G equipment in the US

“Till then, smartphone users in the region are estimated to consume 50GB of data per month on average,” the report said, adding that “there is already a good foundation for 5G uptake” in the country.

Citing a recent study, the report said that there is a lot of consumer interest in adopting 5G. It was estimated that around 40 million smartphone users could have 5G in the initial year of its availability.