The Indian government has confirmed that it will hold its next 5G spectrum auction in May.

According to local reports, the spectrum auction is due to kick off on May 20.

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As reported by the Economic Times India, a total of 10,523.15MHz of spectrum worth 963.17 billion Indian rupees ($11.65 billion) will be put up for sale.

The base price has increased from nine to 12 percent per unit since the last auction two years ago.

In the upcoming auction, 5G airwaves in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz, and 26 GHz bands will be up for grabs.

Operators will be invited to submit bids for the spectrum by April 22.

"Spectrum reserve prices have been increased in the 3,300 MHz and 26 GHz bands while the higher reserve price of the 1,800 MHz band is mainly due to the significant increase in UP-East circle, where the reserve price is 102 percent higher due to aggressive bidding in the previous auction," ICICI Securities said, analyzing the notice inviting application (NIA), which outlines the auction rules issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) last week.

Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio have both launched 5G services across large parts of the country, while cash-strapped Vodafone Idea (Vi) is still waiting to launch 5G.

Vi said it expects to launch 5G in the next few months. Mavenir Telecom said it expects to sign a contract with Vi for the deployment of its 5G network this year.

Jio spent $11 billion on spectrum in the 900MHz, 3,500MHz, and 26GHz bands back in 2022, while Airtel spent $5.4bn during the same auction on spectrum in the 900MHz, 1,800MHz, 2,100MHz, 3,300MHz, and 26GHz bands.

Vi received spectrum worth $2.4 billion, while Adani purchased spectrum worth approximately $27 million.