The 5G spectrum auction has crossed Rs 1.5 lakh crore after 30 rounds and the auction will continue for a few more days, Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Saturday.
Led by Reliance Jio so far, the 5G spectrum auction by the Department of Telecom (DoT) received bids for more than Rs 112 crore in seven rounds on day 5.
Addressing the 'Telecom Investors Roundtable' in Mumbai, Vaishnaw said that there is no upfront paymentA and the winning telecom companies can pay the money over a period of 20 years.
"There is no upfront payment so that reduces the cash flow stress significantly. Since the auction has crossed Rs 1.5 lakh crore, give a big round of applause for the telecom industry," the minister told the gathering after he was told that the bids crossed the figure.
In 2015, after 19 days of fierce bidding, the telecom spectrum auction had fetched Rs 1.10 lakh crore for the government.
On Friday, the spectrum auction saw intense bidding for the 1800 Mhz band in Uttar Pradesh (East) with the per unit price of the band increasing by 49 per cent to Rs 135.60 crore.
The main bidders are Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and a unit of Gautam Adani's Adani enterprises.
According to Vaishnaw, the government reduced the price of the spectrum significantly, removed several charges, and gave many relaxations.
The ongoing 5G spectrum auction indicates that the country's telecom industry has come a long way in 5G advancements, he said.
The industry has emerged to become a sunrise industry in India and a benchmark for the world, the minister added.