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Reliance Jio deposits highest earnest money as 5G spectrum auction race heats up

The four companies that plan to bid for 5G spectrum together deposited Rs 21,800 crore as earnest money for the auction scheduled to start on July 26

July 18, 2022 / 06:26 PM IST
(Representative Image)

(Representative Image)

Telecom companies are expected to bid aggressively for the 5G spectrum in an auction later this month, with Reliance Jio Infocomm accounting for more than half of the earnest money deposited by the bidders. In a relief for mobile phone operators, newcomer Adani Data Networks deposited a small amount, indicating that it is not likely to bid fiercely for spectrum.

The four companies participating in the auction for 5G airwaves together deposited Rs 21,800 crore, according to data published by the Department of Telecommunications. Reliance Jio deposited Rs 14,000 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel with Rs 5,500 crore, and Vodafone Idea with Rs 2,200 crore as earnest money.

The earnest money deposit gives bidders eligibility points on the basis of which they can bid for spectrum. According to the data provided by the telecom department, Reliance Jio has 159,830 eligibility points, Bharti Airtel has 66,330 points, Vodafone Idea has 29,370 eligibility points and Adani has 1,650 points.

Also Read | Telcos may buy spectrum worth Rs 71,000 crore in 5G auction: IIFL

Based on the points, Reliance Jio can bid for a spectrum worth a maximum Rs 1.27 lakh crore, and Bharti Airtel can bid for a maximum of Rs 48,000 crore of the spectrum, Vodafone Idea for Rs 20,000 crore, and Adani Data Network Rs 700 crore. The companies may choose to bid less than this amount.

WhatsApp Image 2022-07-18 at 4.42.27 PM

Adani Data Networks deposited Rs 100 crore. The company said earlier it wants to set up a captive network for its own establishments and has no plan to enter the consumer mobility segment.

With the amount that Adani has deposited, it can buy spectrum worth Rs 700 crore, which means its bids may be limited to the 26 GHz band a few circles. This may give the telecom operators some relief as they had expected the Adani Group to bid fiercely for the 5G spectrum.

The auction of 5G airwaves is scheduled to start on July 26. The government is expected to garner Rs 80,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh crore as revenue from the sale of the spectrum, which supports wireless internet access at a much higher speed than the current 4G communications standard.

Disclaimer: Moneycontrol is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.

Disclaimer: Moneycontrol is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.
Aseem Manchanda is a senior economic journalist, currently working with CNBC-Awaaz as an Associate Editor. He also contributes to, a leading business portal, on economic issues. His last stint was as Bureau Chief with Zee Business. He has spent over 16 years working with mainline news channels, including India TV, Zee News, and BBC World. Manchanda is an expert on the telecom industry, having extensively covered it both from the policy side and the corporate sector. However, he has also worked in almost every area of television news, covering issues that range from economic and political to international. He has two Masters’ degrees under his belt—MBA in International Business from IMT, Ghaziabad, and in Journalism & Mass Communication from IMS, Noida.