India's biggest ever telecom auction has ended and the Centre has issued a spectrum assignment letter for 5G network, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said. He also said that the government has requested telecom service providers (telcos) to prepare for 5G launch across India.
Vaishnaw tweeted, "5G update: Spectrum assignment letter issued, Requesting TSPs to prepare for 5G launch."
Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Adani Data Networks and Vodafone Idea were in the fray for the auction. Reliance Jio made payment of Rs 7,864.78 crore, Vodafone Idea Rs 1,679.98 crore and Adani Data Networks Rs 18.94 crore.
While all telecom operators have opted to make payments in 20 annual installments, Bharti Airtel paid Rs 8,312.4 crore equivalent to four annual installments. An official source told news agency PTI, "DoT has received a total payment of around Rs 17,876 crore. Only Bharti Airtel has paid for four annual installments at one go."
Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said in a statement that the telco has paid Rs 8,312.4 crore towards spectrum dues and was provided the allocation letter for the designated frequency band "within hours."
He further said, "In my over 30 years of first-hand experience with DoT, this is a first! Business as it should be. Leadership at work- Right at the top and at the helm of telecom. What a change! Change that can transform this nation- power its dreams to be a developed nation."
Bharti Airtel MD and CEO Gopal Vittal stated that paying four installments upfront will help the telco to roll out 5G in a concerted manner. It is worth mentioning that Airtel bought spectrum worth Rs 43,084 crore in various frequency bands during the auctions.
(With agency inputs)
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today