Jio emerged as the biggest spender in India’s $19 billion (roughly Rs. 1.5 lakh crore) 5G spectrum auction, with the top telco player winning airwaves worth $11 billion (roughly Rs. Rs. 87,000 crores) as the world’s number two mobile market gears up for the high-speed wireless network.

India’s government aims to begin the rollout of 5G — which it says can provide data speeds about 10 times faster than 4G — by October this year. Globally, the next-generation network is seen as vital for emerging technologies like self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.

The country’s telecom minister said that companies bought 71 percent of a total of 72 GHz spectrum offered in the auction, which concluded on Monday and also saw participation from Jio rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, as well as a unit of Adani Enterprises.

Airtel and Vodafone won spectrum worth $5.4 billion (roughly Rs. Rs. 43,000 crores) and $2.4 billion (nearly Rs. 19,000 crores), respectively. The telcos bid aggressively despite earlier concerns they could lose about 40 percent of potential revenue due to some airwaves being allotted to enterprises for private 5G networks.

Adani, the newest entrant to the auction process, purchased airwaves worth nearly $27 million (nearly Rs. 215 crores). The firm does not plan to offer consumer services and is instead aiming to enter the private 5G network space. Jio said that it will be ready for a pan-India rollout of 5G “in the shortest period of time”, without giving specifics.

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