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Airtel acquires airwaves worth Rs 18,699 cr in latest spectrum auction

90 million additional customers to be covered through the spectrum bought in latest auction, says the telco

Bharti Airtel | Spectrum Auction

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

bharti airtel
In the absence of the GSTR-2A form during July-September 2017, Bharti Airtel contended that input tax credit details were submitted based on estimates and noticed underreporting in October 2018.

on Tuesday said it has acquired 355.45 MHz spectrum across Sub GHz, mid band and 2300 MHz bands for a total consideration of Rs 18,699 crore in the latest conducted by the government.

"This gives Airtel the most formidable spectrum holdings in the country. Airtel has now secured pan India foot print of Sub GHz spectrum that will help improve its deep indoor and in building coverage in every urban town," the company said.

Airtel said the spectrum acquired through the latest auction will also help improve its coverage in villages by offering the superior experience to an additional 90 million customers in India.

Through this auction, Airtel has also decisively strengthened its mid band and capacity spectrum holdings that will help it provide an exceptional customer experience at marginal capex. All of the spectrum will enable Airtel to deliver 5G services in future.

"At the outset, we would like to thank the government for making abundant spectrum available for auctions. Airtel now has a solid spectrum portfolio that will enable it to continue delivering the best mobile broadband experience in India. We are most excited at bringing the power of Airtel services to an additional 90 million customers in India through the power of our Pan India Sub GHz footprint," Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO of Airtel said.

The company added that despite the large amount of spectrum made available, the 700 MHz band bands did not get any bid from the operators as it made no economic case for them based on the high reserve prices.

The 700 MHz band coupled with the 3.5 GHz band has the potential to accelerate India's progress to the top league of digitally enabled nations. Therefore, the reserve pricing of these bands must be addressed on priority in future. This will help the nation to benefit from the digital dividend that will inevitably arise out of this.

The government said that the attracted Rs 77,146 crore worth of bids on the opening day on Monday with Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea putting in bids.

Over 2,250 MHz of spectrum, that carry telecom signals, in seven bands worth nearly Rs 4 trillion at reserve or start price, was offered for bidding in the auction.

About one-third of the spectrum being auctioned is in the 700 MHz band, which was completely unsold during the 2016 auctions.

On March 2, Airtel's scrip was trading at 541.10, up 1.65 per cent on BSE at the time of filing this report.

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First Published: Tue, March 02 2021. 14:16 IST