Making a fresh bid to grab better telecom market space, top telecom majors including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have filed fresh applications to participate in the upcoming 4G spectrum auctions likely to start from March 1 next month.
According to telecom ministry, the auction for over 2300 MHz of airwaves will be up for grabs at an estimated investment of Rs 3.92 lakh crore as the base price. However, with the telecom sector facing severe fund crunch the bidding is likely to witness limited intensity for spectrum worth less than Rs 50,000 crore.
Jio and Airtel, the two giants that are looking to expand their space in the sector are likely to be the main players for spectrum bidding.
The Union government is estimated to rake in about Rs 48,000 crore for the next spectrum auction and around a fourth of this could come into the government coffers this fiscal itself, as an upfront payment.
At present both Airtel and Jio have 5G-ready networks. Fresh spectrum backup is likely to enhance chances for the telecom majors to launch 5G services without waiting for the sale of 5G airwaves.
According to top tech observers, both Jio and Airtel are estimated to spend Rs 10,000-15,000 crore on additional 4G airwaves and the investment will also be limited to select bands in the metro and category A circles, where 4G spectrum assets can now be deployed for future 5G use.