Reliance Jio emerged as the biggest bidder at the recently concluded spectrum auction. The telecom operator bought spectrum worth Rs 57,123 crore in all 22 circles across the country.
Jio will make an upfront payment of Rs 19,939 crore and a deferred payment of Rs 37,184 crore for its latest spectrum acquisition. The deferred payments will have to be made over 16 years after a moratorium of two years, with interest computed at 7.3 per cent per annum.
Jio acquired spectrum in 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz bands, increasing its spectrum footprint by 55 per cent to 1,717 MHz. The company bought 133.75 MHz spectrum in the 800 MHz band, 74.60 MHz in 1800 MHz band and 280 MHz in 2300 MHz band.
Reliance Jio said that it now has the highest amount of sub-GHz spectrum with 2X10 MHz contiguous spectrum in most circles. It also has at least 2X10 MHz in 1800 MHz band and 40 MHz in 2300 MHz band in each of the 22 circles. The company said it has achieved complete spectrum derisking, with average life of owned spectrum of 15.5 years.
"RJIL's spectrum has been acquired in the most cost efficient manner with an effective cost of Rs 60.8 crore per MHz. With the enhanced spectrum footprint, especially contiguous spectrum, and pan-India infrastructure deployed, RJIL has enhanced network capacity to service its existing users as well as hundreds of millions of more subscribers on its network," the telco said.
"The acquired spectrum can be utilised for transition to 5G services at the appropriate time, where Jio has developed its own 5G stack," it further added.
Commenting on the acquisition, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said: "We want to ensure that we keep on enhancing experiences, not only for our existing customers, but also for the next 300 million users that will move to digital services. With our increased spectrum footprint, we are ready to further expand the digital footprint in India as well as get ourselves ready for the imminent 5G rollout."