The auction of the 5G spectrum capable of offering ultra-high-speed internet entered the sixth day of bidding on Sunday after receiving bids worth 1,49,966 crore in the first five days from players like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel.

The bidding resumed on Sunday morning with the 31st round, and the subsequent round is currently underway, according to sources.

The pitched battle in Uttar Pradesh East circle — where demand for 1800 MHz had peaked since Wednesday — seems to be cooling off now, indicating that the auctions may be entering the final leg, according to industry sources.

As of Saturday, the total value of bids in the telecom spectrum auction had come within the striking distance of the ₹1.50 lakh crore mark.

"The 5G auction shows that the industry wants to expand. It has come out of problems and is getting into a growth phase. The auction results aregood close to ₹1,49,966 crore has been committed by the industry for buying the spectrum," Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said at a briefing in Mumbai.

Companies in the race

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

Besides powering ultra-low latency connections, which allow downloading full-length high-quality video or movie to a mobile device in a matter of seconds (even in crowded areas), the Fifth Generation or 5G would enable solutions, including e-health, connected vehicles, more-immersive augmented reality and metaverse experiences, life-saving use cases, and advanced mobile cloud gaming.

Incrementally, ₹111-112 crore came in on Saturday, the provisional proceeds rising from the ₹1,49,855 crore received till Friday from players, such as Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel.

After a flying start on Tuesday that saw players pouring in ₹1.45 lakh crore on the first day, the numbers moved up only incrementally over Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as Jio and Airtel engaged in intense bidding in Uttar Pradesh East circle for 1800 MHz band. In all, 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.