Telecom operators in India have offered just over $19 billion in a government auction for 5G radio waves, the highest of any spectrum sale, as the world’s second-largest wireless market prepares to roll out improved and faster voice and data speeds.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea competed vigorously with each other for seven days and made most of the bids, which the government said exceeded its expectations. Tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s Jio, whose backers include Google and Meta, was the most aggressive bidder, a person familiar with the matter said. The final count is ongoing and the results are expected to be released later today.
Although India is the second largest wireless market, compared to several markets, India has been slow to set up networks for the deployment of 5G technology, which operators around the world say provides significantly faster data transfer speeds and can play an important role in applications. around innovations in autonomous mobility, telemedicine and robotics among other industries.
The lure of higher speeds is likely to help carriers struggling with declining revenues in recent years convince consumers to pay more for data, analysts say.
India has said it expects to roll out 5G networks from October and hopes that by the end of the year, residents in several key cities will be able to experience faster internet access. Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said last week that the government expects to complete the distribution in August.
Ahead of the rollout, phone makers have been selling phones capable of supporting India’s 5G network for nearly two years now. In fact, according to research firm Counterpoint, they shipped more than 50 million 5G-enabled smartphones to the South Asian market, a fifth of which arrived in the quarter ending this June. India is also the second largest smartphone market in the world and one of the fastest growing.
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Credit: techcrunch.com /