Putting speculations to rest, all three private telecom operators – Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Jio – submitted their applications for participation in the upcoming auction of airwaves by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). It is learnt that the three companies waited till the last day, Tuesday, to submit their application. This development paves the way for an assured tripartite contest, in the auction, for buying the spectrum.
In the past, all the three telcos had expressed their reservation in purchasing the spectrum or participating in the auctions, over financial issues.
However, the reservation was more on the high price of 5G spectrum, which hasn’t made the cut in the upcoming tender. According to Bharti Airtel Chief Executive Gopal Vittal, the 5G ecosystem is yet to develop here and the prices are very high and the company can’t afford it.
Both Vodafone Idea and Jio have also submitted their applications with the telecom department, which will now take about a fortnight to evaluate the entries. MSTC has been selected to handle the spectrum auction.
The public sector enterprise executed coal auctions in early 2015. They were held after the Supreme Court cancelled allocation of coal mines in September 2014. MSTC is also holding auctions for various central and state government departments.