Spectrum Auction 2021-All you need to know


In a period of certain years, the government announces the auction for the selling of the rights to the telecom companies for the transmission of signals. This transmission occurs due to the electromagnetic spectrum. With this, the companies get a right to assign the resources accordingly all across the nation. The government of India declared in 2020 about the spectrum auction to be held in 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a delay in the conduction. The last auction was held back in 2018. The decisions taken in this auction would be applicable for the next 20 years.


This auction included mostly the 4G spectrum. The total bidding was for the Rs. 77,814.80 Crores. Along with this, the total spectrum acquired is of 855.60 MHz. The spectrum, took place for 5 major spectrums, viz. 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300MHz bands. There were also two more spectrums, of 700 MHz and 2500 MHz but no one did bid for these.


Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., Bharati Airtel and Vodafone Idea(VI) were the bidders. Out of these, Reliance Jio bought the maximum of 488.35 MHz of bands followed by Bharati Airtel buying 355.45 MHz and Vodafone Idea with 11.80 MHz.

Reliance Jio comes out as the winner of the spectrum auction in march 2021.
Reliance Jio comes out as the winner of the spectrum auction in March 2021.


The government plans to organize the auction for the 5G spectrum in either the end of 2021 or commencement of 2022. Due to the sudden rising in the Covid-19 cases, the schedule may be affected. There is a race now between the telecom companies and the tech companies for setting up the 5G technology as soon as possible in India. The major name in the telecom sector, for the bidding are:

Reliance Jio, Bharati Airtel and VI(Vodafone Idea). The ones in the tech field are Google, Microsoft, Samsung and many more.

India is now entering into the era of speedy transmission and better products and services. The steps taken in this area are gradually serving as the pavement for the upcoming 5G technology.

In an event on 30th December, Minister of Electronic and Information Technology and communications Ravi Shankar Prasad said,

“As part of our commitment to ensure faster roll out of 5G services in India, we have decided to give 5G spectrum for trials to all the players.”

Also, in the month of January, while addressing an event, he said,

“We lagged behind in the 2G, 3G and 4G. But in 5G, India should lead the world with Made in India 5G. “

The most striking thing to notice is that the government has kept the state-owned BSNL(Bhartiya Sanchar Nigam Limited) and MTNL(Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) aloof from the auction.

BSNL/MTNL would get the 5G spectrum without any auction.

The government declared that 5G spectrum be allotted to the companies ‘administratively’. This means that government would allot the spectrums to both, without any auction. In the words of Ravi Shankar Prasad,

“Government also approved to administratively allot spectrum for providing 5G services to BSNL/MTNL ,spectrum for maintaining current operations and future services on the same principle as proposed for the allotment of spectrum for 4G services. “

This is mainly done in order to revive the quality of service and reputation of the Government enterprises.

Shashwat Malasi

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