The auction of 5G spectrum for ultra-high-speed internet services entered day four on Friday after garnering bids worth ₹1,49,623 crore in 16 rounds of bidding conducted so far.

The high interest for spectrum in the 1800 MHz band saw Jio and Airtel locked in intense bidding on Wednesday and Thursday, sustaining the tempo and stretching the auction timelines beyond initial expectations.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio, Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and a unit of billionaire Gautam Adani's flagship, Adani Enterprises are in the race to bid for a 5G spectrum that offers speeds about 10 times faster than 4G, lag-free connectivity, and can enable billions of connected devices to share data in real-time.

After a flying start on Tuesday that saw players pouring in ₹1.45 lakh crore on day one, the numbers inched up incrementally over Wednesday and Thursday. Bidding activities resumed on Friday with the 17th round.

Bids worth ₹1,49,623 crore were received in 16 rounds of bidding till Thursday. A total of 72 GHz (gigahertz) of radiowaves worth at least ₹4.3 lakh crore is on the block.

The auction is being held for spectrum in various low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz), mid (3300 MHz), and high (26 GHz) frequency bands.

In addition to powering ultra-low latency connections, which allow downloading full-length high-quality video or movie to a mobile device in a matter of seconds, 5G would enable solutions, such as e-health, connected vehicles, more-immersive augmented reality and metaverse experiences, life-saving use cases, and advanced mobile cloud gaming, among others.

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