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Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea deposit Rs 4,350 cr ahead of spectrum auctions

Reliance Jio had a net worth of Rs 2.31 trillion followed by Airtel with Rs 86,260 crore, DoT said. Vodafone Idea had a negative net worth of Rs 1.16 trillion

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Subhayan Chakraborty New Delhi

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The three private sector telecom operators - Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) - have collectively deposited ₹4,350 crore as earnest money deposit (EMD) for the upcoming spectrum auctions, according to auction-related documents uploaded by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Thursday.
 
In the previous spectrum auction, DoT had received total EMD of ₹21,800 crore.

This year Reliance Jio deposited the highest amount at ₹3,000 crore, followed by ₹1,050 crore by Bharti Airtel, and ₹300 crore by Vi, the list of pre-qualified bidders uploaded on the DoT website showed.

Reliance Jio had a net worth of ₹2.31 trillion, while the figure for Airtel stood at ₹86,260 crore, DoT said. Vi had a negative net worth of ₹1.16 trillion.

The upcoming spectrum auctions will be held on 6 June after the general elections are over. All unsold spectrum from the last sale will be up for bidding again. Airwaves in the 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands, covering a large chunk of voice and data spectrum, are up for sale.

The auction for 5G airwaves in 2022 had seen high bidding intensity as telecom firms bought spectrum for the new technology, which was available for the first time, and as seven-times higher amount of spectrum was available. As a result, 88 per cent of Bharti and Vi's cumulative winning bids were focused on 3,300 MHz and 26 GHz spectrum bands, a note by Axis Capital has pointed out.
 
However, the auctions are widely expected to record a much lower intensity this time around.

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First Published: May 16 2024 | 9:37 PM IST

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