The battle for India digital future has two of Asia richest men in the fray

Technology: India biggest auction for 5G airwaves has ended with two of Asia richest men Mukesh Ambani & Gautam Adani locked in a battle for supremacy over India digital future.

For Mukesh Ambani it is an unexpected encounter with a business rival who has so far stayed away from his business interests.

Mukesh AmbaniJio Group is now a household name in India internet market while Mr Adani controls a sprawling business that spans ports airports & energy.

Adani recently became fourth richest person in the world overtaking Bill Gates. Their net worth is more than 112 billion dollars.

According to India Telecom Minister Ashwini Vishnao 71 percent of the total 72 GHz spectrum block has-been sold in this auction.

In the auction government received tenders from three legacy companies including Mukesh Ambani Reliance Jio RJio Vodafone Idea & Bharti Airtel while a new fourth company Adani Data Networks also bid.

Bids totaling $19 billion 5G Technology.

According to research by Indian analytical company CRISIL  bid exceeded expectations by more than doubling since the last auction in March 2021.

In this auction RJio emerged as the largest bidder buying spectrum worth $ 11 billion. Adani Group spent only $26 million while  remaining bids came from Bharti Airtel & Vodafone Idea.

Bharti Airtel & RJio reportedly bid for Pan India Airways. Cash strapped Vodafone Idea spent only on priority sectors.

Jio is fully ready for 5G in the shortest possible time due to its nationwide fiber presence & strong global partnerships RJio said in a statement.

The Adani Group bid for private spectrum that would be accessed only in specific areas such as ports or airports. This is one sector in which Adani has already invested heavily.

Adani Group however has said it is not interested in competing in broader market outside the private spectrum. However analysts say this could be their 1st step in that direction.

Multinational investment bank and financial institution Goldman Sachs said in a statement We believe that if the Adani Group buys spectrum in the upcoming auction competition will increase.

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Doors will open for the Adani Group to expand into consumer mobile services over time.

This move may cause problems for Vodafone Idea & Bharti Airtel. Both these telecom companies are yet to recover from the situation that arose after RJio Group entry into the field in 2016 & a steep drop in prices.

Now he faces the possibility of further competition from another billionaire

Introduction of 5G in India is likely to usher in a new era of highspeed internet that will enable video downloads in seconds & enable modern connected devices through cloud computing technologies.

With faster internet Indian telecom companies are expected to benefit by charging higher prices for 5G. They have so far avoided charging more for 4G plans than 2G or 3G plans.

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5G tariff plans are likely to generate more revenue for telecom companies.

But India will slowly move towards 5G especially given the high prices.&  also the fact that only 5 to 7 percent of India total smartphone base is 5G enabled.

The record proceeds from its auction will also help improve the government fiscal position at a time when India fiscal deficit is expected to touch 6.4 percent.

Analysts estimate that India telecommunications sector will receive an advance of $1.6 billion over the next 20 years.

The government is expected to end the allocation of airwaves by August & launch 5G services in early October this year.

India Telecom Minister Ashwini Vishnao has said that within a year we should have a good roll out of 5G in the country.