India’s Jio spends $11bn on 5G auction
August 3, 2022
By Chris Forrester
India’s competing telcos spent more than $19 billion (€18.7bn) in the government auction of 5G spectrum.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have spent seven days competing with each other to make the majority of the acquisitions, purchasing 71 per cent of all offered spectrum, which the government said totally exceeded its expectations.
Mukesh Ambani’s Jio, already a hugely successful telco and which counts Google and Meta among its backers, was the most aggressive participant, spending some $11.13 billion.
Bharti Airtel spent $5.44 billion, while Vodafone Idea (itself a joint-venture between Vodafone Group and India’s Idea Cellular) spent $2.37 billion.
India is the world’s second-largest wireless market and will start rolling out 5G spectrum from October 2022. The winning bidders will have their spectrum officially awarded by August 10th.
“We have always believed that India will become a leading economic power in the world by adopting the power of breakthrough technologies. This was the vision and conviction that gave birth to Jio. The speed, scale and societal impact of Jio’s 4G rollout is unmatched anywhere in the world. Now, with a bigger ambition and stronger resolve, Jio is set to lead India’s march into the 5G era,” said Akash Ambani, chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Reliance launched its Jio operation six years ago and has established itself as the largest wireless operator in India, with more than 420 million subscribers.