Tycoons Line Up Bids for India’s $14 Billion 5G Airwaves Auction

The battle for India’s fifth-generation airwaves is luring some of the country’s richest tycoons, with billionaires Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani joining a raft of players expected to bid as much as $14 billion for frequency rights that could decide who dominates the digital era.

While Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. has paid the highest pre-auction deposit signaling it’s likely to be the most aggressive bidder in the sale that starts Tuesday, it is the surprise entrant Adani Data Networks Ltd. whose bids will be closely watched as rivals try to map out its telecom ambitions. Wireless operators Bharti Airtel Ltd., led by billionaire Sunil Mittal, and Vodafone Idea Ltd. — a joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc and Kumar Mangalam Birla’s group — are the other bidders.