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The Hindu
The Hindu
Special Correspondent

Adani Data Networks, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea submit applications to participate in the upcoming spectrum auctions

The Department of Telecom (DoT) on Tuesday said that it had received applications from Gautam Adani-led Adani Data Networks, as well as from established telcos — Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea — to participate in the upcoming spectrum auctions.

The applications had been submitted to participate in auctions of right to use of spectrum in the 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands, the DoT said. A total of 72,097.85 MHz of spectrum worth at least ₹4.3 lakh crore will be put on the block during the auctions, set to commence on July 26.

The DoT, however, added that the applications were still being reviewed.

The Adani Group had in a statement last week confirmed its intent to participate in the 5G spectrum auction. It also clarified that it did not intend to enter the consumer mobility space but only sought to provide private network solutions along with enhanced cybersecurity in the airport, ports and logistics, power generation, transmission, distribution, and various manufacturing operations.

Noting that DoT’s final rules and timeline for direct assignment of spectrum to enterprises for private network were pending, brokerage CLSA in a note raised questions as to why the Adani Group would wish to bid in an auction “versus awaiting a direct spectrum assignment?”

It said that the Adani Group’s entry would create “uncertainty over spectrum pricing in the 5G auctions”.

Likewise, Jefferies noted that “Adani's intent to buy spectrum in upcoming auctions only for private use has uncanny similarities to Jio's purchase of 2300MHz spectrum in 2010 that could not be used for voice services. Spectrum bought through auctions can be used to offer commercial services in the future by taking a Universal Access License.”

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