On June 15th, the federal government began accepting bids for 5G wireless spectrum. The auction will last for several weeks and is expected to generate billions for the government. This spectrum is critical for the next phase of the digital economy in Canada. Cable, phone and internet providers will compete for the licences, which cover 172 service areas across the country.
The new 5G network will be capable of delivering super fast download speeds and will enable new technologies like augmented and virtual reality, metaverse, and wide-network online gaming. Several companies are participating in the auction, including Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vi, and Adani Group. The winning bidders will retain the rights to the spectrum for 20 years.
The auction will cover several frequency bands, including 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz, 26GHz, and 3300MHz. It will also include higher 5G bands such as 28GHz. In some cases, the government could sell a spectral block in a single day.
The number of bids in the spectrum auction will depend on how much the companies are willing to spend. A higher earnest money deposit will give a company more buying power in the spectrum auction. A high earnest money deposit also gives the company more points in the eligibility process, which will determine the amount of airwaves the company can buy. This is why telcos often go in for higher earnest money deposits.
The latest auction for 5G spectrum has hit a major milestone – the cumulative value of bids for 5G spectrum has surpassed Rs 1.50 billion. The bids received during the first five days of the auction included bids from big companies. On Sunday, the auction resumed for the 31st round, which saw bidding for spectrum in the UP East circle pick up pace. On Wednesday, the fight for the spectrum in the same circle has slowed down a bit, but the bidding may continue for the final leg.
The first auction was conducted in March 2015. During the last auction, three major U.S. wireless companies bought nearly $78 billion in licenses. The biggest of these companies, AT&T, and Verizon, paid more than the others combined. This is a huge amount of money, and it’s expected that these companies will go in for even higher bids this time around.
Auctions have become a key way to boost the growth of 5G wireless services. The FCC has been conducting these auctions for several years to help meet the growing demand for connectivity. The new auction will cover 8,000 county-based licenses in the 2.5 GHz band, which are primarily rural. By selling these licenses, the government hopes to encourage the deployment of physical broadband in rural areas.