India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) reportedly set a more realistic revenue target for a planned spectrum auction in March because operators have sufficient bandwidth and will be focused on renewing their existing holdings in regions where they are expiring.

The Economic Times (ET) reported the DoT expects the sale of spectrum in eight bands to generate INR20 billion ($240.5 million) to INR30 billion, with airwaves valued at INR970 billion going on the block.

Financial Express wrote the DoT previously estimated the auction would raise INR80 billion to INR90 billion.

Bharti Airtel needs to renew 900MHz and 1800MHz licences in six regions, while Vodafone Idea’s licences in the bands expire in two areas, ET wrote. 

Reliance Jio has no renewals this year, but may seek new spectrum in some regions, the newspaper reported.

Jio and Airtel both invested aggressively to roll out nationwide 5G networks starting in October 2022. Debt-laden Vodafone Idea has not launched the service.

The government raised a record INR1.5 trillion in a 5G spectrum auction in 2022.