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India's Department of Telecommunication (DoT) concluded its second 5G spectrum auction with disappointing outcomes, selling 141.4 MHz of spectrum for USD 1.35 billion, marking the third-lowest auction result since 2010, following the lowest proceeds collected in 2013 and the second lowest a year earlier.

Related: India Delays 5G Spectrum Auction Once Again


Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Minister of Communications, emphasized that the 2024 spectrum auction formed part of an ongoing allocation process known for its transparency, robustness, and progressive nature, in a statement following the auction's conclusion.

“Telecom service providers have acquired spectrum not only for the continuity of service but also for expanding their services. However, the volume is limited because a large portion of the required spectrum was auctioned last year [2022]," said a DoT spokesperson.

The auction commenced on June 25 and wrapped up the following day following seven rounds of bidding. Interestingly, no bids were placed for spectrum in the 800 MHz, 2300 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz bands. Out of the total 533.6 MHz of airwaves up for sale, telecom firms acquired 141.4 MHz, equivalent to 26.5% of the available spectrum. Reportedly, the unsold spectrum will be auctioned again next time.

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Bharti Airtel emerged as the largest spender, bidding USD 833 million to acquire spectrum in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz bands.

Following closely, Vodafone Idea secured the second position by purchasing airwaves in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2500 MHz bands for USD 426.6 million.

Reliance Jio displayed a limited presence at the auction, acquiring spectrum worth USD 118.3 million in the 1800 MHz band.

Also Read: DoT Mandates Telcos to Block International Spoofed Calls Using Indian Numbers

Related: India Introduces 'Spectrum Regulatory Sandbox' for Telecom R&D

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