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Airtel likely to skip auction of expensive 700 MHz band

Bharti Airtel is probably going to provide the 700 MHz band a miss once more within the upcoming spectrum public sale as a result of its excessive worth. Additionally, the telco doesn’t have to renew most of its airwaves which might be expiring from July, a prime firm official mentioned.

After all telecom operators gave the 700 MHz band – thought-about very environment friendly for 4G companies and even 5G sooner or later – a go within the 2016 public sale, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India lowered its reserve worth by 43% to ₹6,568 crore a unit, or ₹32,840 crore for a block of 5 MHz.

“It (700 MHz) is just too expensive to buy at the current price,” the official instructed ET.

The Cabinet earlier this month accepted the sale of airwaves in an public sale as a result of be held earlier than March 31, 2021. A complete of 2251.25 MHz price ₹3,92,332.7 crore on the reserve worth will likely be provided in seven frequency bands starting from 700 MHz to 2500 MHz.

The government mentioned Airtel is below no strain to purchase expiring airwaves. Bharti Airtel – with about 294 million customers – has airwaves, largely within the 1800 MHz band, that are set to run out throughout eight circles from July. As per brokerage Motilal Oswal, Bharti Airtel must spend ₹13,000 crore to resume all its airwaves on the base worth.

“… but we already have enough backup spectrum in those circles,” the official mentioned.

The official mentioned Airtel might bid for some quantity of sub-GHz airwaves. “We need to see if we need to add more capacities here and there,” he mentioned.

The public sale is taken into account essential for Reliance Jio as a result of a considerable portion of its personal airwaves and people it shares with Reliance Communications within the 800 MHz band expires in 12 and 14 circles, respectively, beginning July 2021. Without these airwaves, Jio’s companies in these circles will likely be impacted.

The Airtel government mentioned the telco was financially comfy to purchase airwaves within the subsequent 4G spectrum public sale and it doesn’t want to lift further funds.

“Our balance sheet is quite strong and we have done a big round of fundraising of $8 billion in the last few months,” he mentioned, including that every one capex is being carried out by means of current money flows. The Greater India

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