The four contenders of the 5G spectrum auction have submitted their earnest money deposits (EMDs). Reliance Jio has put in Rs 14,000 crore, while Adani has put in only Rs 100 crore, the lowest of all four.
Bharti Airtel deposited Rs 5,500 crore, while Vodafone Idea gave Rs 2,200 crore, according to a document on the website of the Department of Telecommunications, posted on 18 July.
The auction, slated to begin on 26 July, will have 72,000MHz of airwaves on offer. It will be the first concrete step towards rolling out 5G services in India, giving access to ultra high-speed and low latency mobile internet.
This will be a Simultaneous Multiple Rounds Ascending (SMRA) e-auction, conducted over the Internet, letting bidders bid on multiple individual lots at the same time.
Earnest money deposits (EMDs) are submitted by bidders before the auction, on the basis of which they will be allocated eligibility points. These points will be used while placing bids during the auction.
Accordingly, Reliance Jio has also tallied the highest number of eligibility points, coming to 1,59,830, with Bharti Airtel coming second with 66,330 points, Vodafone Idea coming third with 29,370 points, and lastly, Adani racking up 1650 eligibility points.
The document states that all four companies “can bid in any band in any LSA (subject to EPs/EMD/Spectrum Cap).”
The auction will be offering up nine low frequency (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz), mid frequency (3300 MHz), and high frequency (26 GHz) bands.
What Do These Figures Mean for the Auction?
According to analysts, EMDs can serve as hints for how the actual auction will go, as a company can usually target a band that is worth eight to nine times more than their EMD.
Going by this logic, the fact that Adani has a much lower EMD signifies that they will not be looking to spend as much as their competitors in the auction.
The group had previously stated that they would not be entering the consumer space for 5G, and aim to build captive private networks through this auction, used to support its airports and other businesses.
Analysts expect Adani to bid for the 26 GHz millimetre band, which is a high speed low latency band, based on the amount put in their EMD and the purpose they’ve stated the 5G technology will be used for, according to The Indian Express.
The publication also quotes a Credit Suisse report, saying that Jio could bid for the premium bands, while Airtel will probably restrict bidding in the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz band. Vodafone Idea “will be able to bid for only minimum required spectrum: ~50MHz in 3.5GHz band and 400MHz in 26GHz bands,” according to the report.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)