Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have requested the government to defer spectrum payment installments with a 2-year moratorium. Vodafone CEO Nick Read met with Aruna Sundararajan, secretary of India’s Department of Telecom, to seek a postponement in spectrum payments of the operator’s Indian unit Vodafone Idea, The Economic Times reports, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the matter.
“The meeting between telecom secretary and Read was held on Monday to discuss relaxation in spectrum payment for Vodafone Idea,” a source privy to the development said. Vodafone Idea must pay installments of around INR 100 billion for spectrum that it has acquired in the past five auctions.
Vodafone and Idea participated in five auctions that were held in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016, before merging their mobile businesses. In these five auctions, Vodafone alone had acquired spectrum worth INR 793.43 billion, while Idea won spectrum worth INR 635.97 billion in the same auctions. After completion of their merger on 31 August 2018, the spectrum payment liability is now on Vodafone Idea.
Vodafone Idea is in process of raising INR 250 billion for investment in its business on the local market. Vodafone committed to contributing INR 110 billion in the fundraising exercise, while Aditya Birla Group will contribute INR 72.5 billion.―Telecompaper