Reliance Jio has reportedly put in an earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs 100 billion for the upcoming spectrum auction starting March 1, 2021. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) have deposited Rs 30 billion and Rs 4.75 billion, respectively.

The details have been announced by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) as part of a list of pre-qualified bidders.

As per industry analysts, the quantum of EMD is indicative of a telco’s bidding strategy as it gives an operator eligibility points, based on which it can target a certain quantum of airwaves in specific circles.

As such, Jio, having made the highest deposits, has been awarded the highest eligibility points of 73,007. Jio is followed by Airtel and Vi at 24,924 points and 6,153 points, respectively.

Analysts have highlighted that an EMD of this ticket would allow Jio to buy 4G spectrum worth Rs 500-700 billion. Meanwhile, Airtel’s EMD will allow it to buy 4G airwaves worth Rs 150-250 billion and that of Vi will allow the operator to buy spectrum worth Rs 25-35 billion.

Further, DoT’s notice has stated that all three telcos can bid in any band in any circles, subject to limits imposed by the EMDs they have submitted or spectrum caps.