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The Telecom Ministry has started the auction of 5G spectrum in the country. Country’s leading companies Reliance, Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and Adani Group company Adani Enterprises are participating in the auction which started on Tuesday, July 26. This time during the auction of 5G spectrum, the government is going to auction a total of 72 Ghz spectrum. Its value is around Rs 4.3 lakh crore. The government expects revenue of around Rs 1 lakh crore from the auction of 5G spectrum. Before the auction of 5G spectrum, 2G, 3G and 4G spectrum have been auctioned in the country. Let us know how much the government has earned in different spectrum auctions in the country so far?
2G spectrum auction
The government had earned a lot in all the previous auctions, but the government’s most notoriety came after the auction of 2G spectrum. The auction of 2G spectrum was also the country’s most infamous auction in a way. After the news of the scam in the auction of 2G spectrum, the then Manmohan Singh government was in a lot of trouble. In this case, the Union Minister and big leaders had to go to jail. After the 2G spectrum glitch came to light, Time magazine called it the biggest abuse of power since America’s Watergate scandal.
According to the CAG report, there was a loss of about Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government exchequer due to the scam in the auction of 2G spectrum. In this case, the Central Investigation Agency CBI had filed a charge sheet of 80 thousand pages before the trial court. At the same time, the then CAG Vinod Rai had claimed in his report that during the auction of 2G spectrum, spectrum was given to companies at throwaway prices, causing a loss of 1.76 lakh crore to the government. People like then Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK supremo late K Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi were made accused in this case. The Supreme Court had ruled to cancel 122 2G licenses issued in the year 2008.
How much did the 2G spectrum auction earn?
The government had re-auctioned 2G spectrum in February 2014 after the glitch in the 2G spectrum auction. The auction, which lasted for ten days, saw 68 rounds of bidding. At the end of the auction process, the government received a total revenue of Rs 61162 crore. In this auction, bids were made for the 122 licenses that were canceled by the Supreme Court.
3G spectrum auction
The auction of 3G spectrum took place in the year 2022. A total of 183 bids were placed in this auction which lasted for 34 days. The government earned a bumper of Rs 67719 crore from this auction. This auction opened the way for video calling and high speed internet in the country. In the 3G spectrum auction, Airtel and Reliance Communications had bagged spectrum for 13 circles each. At the same time, Vodafone Essar was successful in taking licenses of nine circles, Idea Cellular 11 circles and Tata Group nine circles during this auction.
Auction of 4G spectrum rained money in the government’s coffers
The process of auctioning 4G spectrum was completed only last year. The auction was completed in just two days. During this, bids were made for 4G spectrum in six rounds. The government earned about Rs 77800 from the auction of 4G spectrum. In July 2021, companies like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had bid for renewal of expiring licenses. Let us tell you that the first auction of 4G spectrum was held in the year 2015, from which the government got revenue of Rs 113932 crore.
5G spectrum auction expected to earn Rs 1 lakh crore
The auction of 5G spectrum for the first time in the country began on Tuesday, July 26. The matter has become interesting with companies like Ambani, Adani, Airtel and Vodafone-Idea joining the race to auction 5G spectrum with speeds ten times faster than 4G. During the auction of 5G spectrum, the Telecom Ministry is going to auction 72 Ghz spectrum. Its value has been kept by the government at Rs 4.3 lakh crore. Under this auction 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 3300 MHz in the mid frequency band and 26 Ghz spectrum in the high frequency band will be auctioned under this auction. The auction is to be held for a period of 20 years. The government is expected to earn around Rs 1 lakh crore from the auction of 5G spectrum. Credit rating agency ICRA has also expressed expectation of good earnings from the auction of 5G spectrum.