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Adani Group’s likely spend in 5G spectrum auction Rs 2,800 crore vs Rs 37,292 crore for the telcos

The Adani Group is likely to spend close to Rs 2,800 crore on buying spectrum in the auctions which will commence from July 26. Its spend will be much less than that of telecom operators like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea as it is not going for consumer mobility but only private network solutions.

Industry analysts said that since Adani Group has stated that it would use the spectrum for private network solutions and not for providing voice and data telecom services, it is likely that it would opt for only 24.25-28.5 GHz spectrum band, which is referred to as millimetre band. The reserve price for this spectrum is `6.99 crore per MHz. Telecom analysts said that a quantum of 400 MHz is enough for private network, so the spend would be around Rs 2,796 crore.

The 24.25-28.5 GHz band is a high frequency band where companies do not require to radiate outside. In this spectrum band, only inside radiation is required, therefore it is ideal for private network purposes.

Analysts said that Adani Group has made a smart move by going for only private network as it would be able to get a high quantum
of spectrum — 400 MHz — for just Rs 2,796 crore.

Telecom operators, in comparison, would need to buy a combination of 3,300-3,670 MHz and 24.25-28.5 GHz spectrum band for which they would need to spend around `37,292 crore for pan-India level.

Further, the Adani Group will, through its move of getting into private network, drive the business in this segment as it would also get into building such networks for other enterprises. It can offer other enterprises spectrum as well as build the same for them, which would open a revenue stream for it.

“We are participating in the 5G spectrum auction to provide private network solutions along with enhanced cyber security in the airport, ports & logistics, power generation, transmission, distribution, and various manufacturing operations,” Adani Group said in a statement on Saturday.

“Also, if we are awarded 5G spectrum in the open bidding, it will also align with our recent announcement of significantly increasing the Adani Foundation’s investments in education, healthcare and skill development in rural areas, each of which stands to benefit from 5G technology,” the statement added.

“In addition, as we build our own digital platform encompassing super apps, edge data centres, and industry command and control centres, we will need ultra high quality data streaming capabilities through a high frequency and low latency 5G network across all our businesses,” the statement had further added.

As reported earlier by FE, the government has so far allowed enterprises like Adani to build their captive data networks by either taking spectrum on lease by the telecom operators or giving them a turnkey contract to build the same. As far as direct allocation of spectrum to enterprises is concerned, while the government has given an in-principle approval, it has said that it would first assess the demand and then ask the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to frame rules in this regard.

However, there’s nothing in the regulation which prohibits any enterprise from buying spectrum in the auctions and use it for private captive network. It is up to the firm concerned what kind of licence it acquires to use the spectrum. Financial Express

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