Telco major Bharti Airtel on Tuesday announced that it has acquired 355.45 MHz spectrum across Sub GHz, mid band, and 2300 MHz bands for a total amount of Rs 18,699 crores in the latest spectrum auction.
With this development, the telco has strengthened its mid band and capacity spectrum holdings that will help it to provide better experience to its customer at the marginal capex.
All of the spectrum will enable Airtel to deliver 5G services in future, it added.
“Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s premier digital communication solutions provider, today said that it has acquired 355.45 MHz spectrum across Sub GHz, mid band and 2300 MHz bands for a total consideration of Rs 18,699 crores in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecom, Government of India,” the company said in a regulatory filing.
Airtel has now secured pan-India foot print of Sub GHz spectrum that will help improve it’s deep indoor and in-building coverage in every urban town. Moreover, the spectrum will also help improve its coverage in villages, the statement said
The telco added that despite the large amount of spectrum made available, the 700 MHz band bands did not get any bid from the operators as it made no economic case for them based on the high reserve prices. “The 700 MHz band coupled with the 3.5 GHz band has the potential to accelerate India’s progress to the top league of digitally enabled nations. Therefore, the reserve pricing of these bands must be addressed on priority in future,” Airtel said.
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “At the outset, we would like to thank the Government for making abundant spectrum available for auctions. Airtel now has a solid spectrum portfolio that will enable it to continue delivering the best mobile broadband experience in India. We are most excited at bringing the power of Airtel services to an additional 90 million customers in India through the power of our Pan India Sub GHz footprint.”
The spectrum auctions, that put on offer a total of 2308.80 MHz of spectrum worth Rs 4 lakh crore in seven bands, concluded on Tuesday.
The bidding started on Monday, and received bids worth Rs 77,146 crore from participants—Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea. There were, however, no takers for spectrum in the 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands on the first day.