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India's Reliance Jio takes center stage in nation's first 5G auction

Sale kicked off this week; speedy mobile internet key to Delhi's digital ambitions

Telecommunications giant Reliance Jio Infocomm is helping lead India's push into 5G.   © Reuters

BENGALURU -- Telecommunications giant Reliance Jio Infocomm has snaffled up a solid chunk of the airwaves on sale in India's maiden auction of 5G spectrum this week, analysts said, as it pushes to extend its lead in the nation's fiercely competitive telecommunications sector.

The fifth generation of high-speed mobile internet, which promises superfast downloads to support technology ranging from virtual reality to driverless cars, lies at the heart of the Indian government's plans to transform the country into a $1 trillion digital economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi this year said 5G services could become a "$450 billion opportunity" in the next decade or so.

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