Three charts that explain Jio’s need to spend more in 2021 auctions

Spectrum auctions have been major events in the history of the Indian telecom sector. Irrational bids in the past have resulted in high indebtedness and brought some firms to their knees. The 2021 spectrum auction, in contrast, is expected to be a far simpler affair. Telcos are expected to quietly pick up what they need rather than slug it out for scarce spectrum. Even so, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd’s earnest money deposit (EMD) is more than three times that of its largest competitor, Bharti Airtel Ltd. Jio will be spending far more than the others, and although Airtel’s deposit seems low, it may end up driving prices higher for spectrum in at least one band, analysts say.

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