The success of telecom auctions has been judged only through the lens of spectrum sold, but it has neglected the opportunity cost of the unsold spectrum due to high reserve prices.

That every auction is different is a cliché. Success depends on several factors, including the demand and supply of spectrum, the number of operators, and economic conditions. All these dynamic factors make auctions dissimilar. But is the 5G auction significantly different from the others? Indeed, it is. (Shutterstock)

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