Airtel announced 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. This gives Airtel the most formidable spectrum holdings in the country.
Airtel has now secured Pan India foot print of Sub GHz spectrum that will help improve its deep indoor and in building coverage in every urban town. In addition, this precious spectrum will also help improve its coverage in villages by offering the superior Airtel experience to an additional 90 million customers in India. Through this auction, Airtel has also decisively strengthened its mid band and capacity spectrum holdings that will help it provide an exceptional customer experience at marginal capex. All of the spectrum will enable Airtel to deliver 5G services in future.
Airtel thanked the Department of Telecom for conducting a very efficient auction and putting out a large quantum of spectrum across multiple bands in the latest auction. 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.”
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The Company 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. This will help the nation to benefit from the digital dividend that will inevitably arise out of this.