India’s cash-strapped telcos will have to dig deep, as the government looks to maximise revenues at its forthcoming airwave auction later this year

The Indian government expects to earn up to Rs9.83 trillion ($84 billion) at its forthcoming airwave spectrum auction.

The government expects to sell off 8,600MHz of telecoms airwaves, a Ministry of Telecoms official told journalists from Bloomberg.

India is the world’s second biggest telecoms market place, after China, with an estimated 1.2 billion subscribers.

The country remains one of the most competitive in the world for mobile network operators, who have seen their profit margins eroded, since the country’s disruptive operator, Reliance Jio, launched its range of ultra-low-cost 4G data tariffs and handsets in 2017.

Since then, the market has seen a raft of network sharing agreements come into play, as telcos look to save money and reduce the capital demands of their infrastructure.

As the country gears up to launch 5G in 2020, mobile network operators will be required to spend tens of billions of dollars each to acquire the spectrum and install the network infrastructure that will allow them to launch 5G services.

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