India Telecom Companies Bid Heavily in First 5G Auction

NEW DELHI—Indian telecom operators bid aggressively in the first government auction for 5G airwaves in the world’s second-biggest wireless market after China.

The battle for next-generation airwaves saw telecom giants Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. put in bids worth over 1.49 trillion rupees ($18.6 billion), nearly double the government’s initial estimates.