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5G – The War for the Digital Throne of India

The auction for 5G has begun. Top Guns like Reliance Jio, Airtel, VI, and Adani Enterprises have already started bidding. Read to know what’s at stake for whom.

5G - The War for the Digital Throne of India
Image Credits: Priyanshi Goyal

One of the most awaited auctions after the IPL auction is here for the 5G spectrum. The bidding war can go up to digits more than your phone numbers with Top Guns like Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Adani Enterprises involved, and our government expected to generate Rs 1.1 Lakh Crore from this auction. The highest bidder will retain the rights for the next 20 years with somewhere around the vicinity of Rs 4 trillion if sold. 

Pre-Auction all the bidders are required to submit their EMD (Earnest Money Deposit) based on which they can bid for various frequency bands of 5G. Reliance Jio has made an EMD of 140 billion and is leading the race followed by Airtel with 55 billion, Vodafone Idea at 22 billion, and finally, Adani Enterprises has made an EMD of only 1 billion indicating a silent and small move by them.

Types of Digital Bandwidths

Low-Band Spectrums Radio waves having less than 1 GHz including bandwidths from 600MHz to 900MHz.

Mid-Band Spectrums – Radio waves range between 1 GHz to 6 GHz including bandwidths from 1800MHz to 2300MHz. 

High-Band Spectrums – Radio waves ranging from 24GHz to 40GHz including bandwidths above 2300MHz.

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There are a total of 9 bands with over 72,000 MHz of spectrum.

Now let’s look at each of the competitors

Reliance Jio

5G - The War for the Digital Throne of India
Image Credits:

Stock Price – Rs 2,435 (reliance) 

Since its release in 2017 has revolutionized the prices and India has the supply of the cheapest data worldwide. Jio proved to be a game changer and since then the electronic industry has witnessed the Majestic rise of Jio as a digital giant trying to establish a monopoly in this sector. They are expected to bid aggressively and bag the right home.

Bharti Airtel

5G - The War for the Digital Throne of India
Image Credits:

Stock Price – Rs 676.15

One of our most prestigious global service providers working in 17 countries across Asia, Africa has a customer base of 480 million. Airtel is the only firm in the digital market still standing after Jio’s entrance into the industry. According to the economic times, the government owns a 30% stake in Airtel, and with their decent EMD, they are sure to take the mid-band widths home.

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Vodafone Idea

5G - The War for the Digital Throne of India
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Stock Price – Rs 8.95

Popularly known as VI the merger between Vodafone and Idea in 2018. VI for the past few quarters has provided very fast data to all its customers and has had improved results in the last quarter. Today’s auction would be their chance to rebrand themselves and dethrone Jio as the kingmaker.

Adani Enterprises

5G - The War for the Digital Throne of India
Image Credits:

Stock Price – Rs 2,542.10

They surprised all of us by entering the 5G race as the group said they are participating to provide private network solutions and enhanced cybersecurity at their airports, ports, and other outlets. The possibility of nationwide rights is ruled out for Adani Enterprises but in the long run, we can see a new player giving competition to Jio for dominance in this sector.

What can we expect from today’s mega auction?

The Mid band spectrums and High band spectrums are to be acquired by telecom service providers like Reliance, and Airtel to start 5G services in India as soon as possible. As for the mid-band spectrum, Airtel and Vodafone Idea can have a bidding war. 

Last but not least – Low band spectrums are likely to be acquired by Adani Enterprises for their private network. The spectrum acquired by Adani Enterprises might be sufficient to provide a network to a metropolitan but according to bidding clauses they are restricted from doing so. 


The dream of a new digital India seen by honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi is finally shaping itself into a reality with 5G auctions starting today. The auction will decide who will ascend the digital throne for the next decade.

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Sources: CNBC

Written By

Rohan Gandhi is a Business and Finance News Analyst and Content Writer at Empire Weekly. He is a young content writer with inherent zen of creativity specializing in sports and financial topics, looking to make content simple and informative. Explaining content in a way readers understand.

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