Bharti Airtel Will Not Purchase 5G Spectrum if Trai Goes With Exorbitant Prices

Published by
Chakri K

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel reaffirmed that it would not purchase 5G spectrum at the Trai recommended prices. Trai suggested Rs 492 crore per megahertz, but Airtel feels the prices are on the steeper side. Not only Bharti Airtel, but even Vodafone Idea also said the prices are on the higher side. But Trai is also standing on its word saying the prices of 5G spectrum will not be reduced and operators should purchase them at the recommended prices only. Bharti Airtel was recently hit by Rs 35,000 crore AGR dues which again took its overall debt to over Rs 1 lakh crore in the country. At this point, the company doesn’t want to purchase the 5G spectrum and the telco is even urging for more tariff hikes so that the ARPU

can go past Rs 200 in no time.

Airtel Believes the Trai 5G Spectrum Recommended Prices are Too High

During the Earnings Call on Wednesday, Gopal Vittal, Bharti Airtel MD and CEO for India and South Asia region, said the 5G spectrum prices recommended by Trai are too high. “On the 3.5 Ghz band, Trai has recommended price to Rs 50,000 crore for 100 MHz of spectrum. 5G requires a large block of the spectrum. 100 Mhz spectrum for Rs 50,000 crore, we can’t afford. We believe it is too high. We will not pick it up at those prices,” he said, according to a PTI report.

Talks regarding 5G spectrum prices are going on for a while now in the industry and Trai is not budging in reducing the recommended prices. This essentially means the 5G rollout in India will be delayed like how it happened with 4G in the early 2010s.

In addition to Gopal Vittal, Chief Financial Officer of Bharti Airtel, Badal Bagri said that the industry is now repairing itself with a hike in tariffs. Bharti Airtel is also hinting at another tariff hike to increase the ARPU. If Airtel increases the prices, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio will also follow the same. “We have ARPU of Rs 135. In the end state, I think we need to see ARPU of Rs 300 in Indian telecom. I think that is when we will turn a reasonable return of capital on the overall business,” Vittal further added.

Telcos Might Have to Shell Out Rs 9,840 Crore on 5G Spectrum

Going by the Trai recommended prices, telecom operators in India will have to put a minimum of Rs 9,840 crore on the pan-India basis to purchase the 5G spectrum in 3,300-3,600 Mhz band. While there’s no timeline on when 5G will be launched in India, the DoT is currently in the process of allocating 5G spectrum required for running trials. Telcos were asked to come up with entire 5G trial plan, but they sought an extension even for that as well.

Chakri K

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

Share
Published by
Chakri K

Recent Posts

Realme Techlife Watch SZ100 Budget Smartwatch Launched in India

Realme during its Realme Narzo 50 5G series launch event has introduced a new smartwatch…

Realme Narzo 50 5G Series Launched in India – Specifications and Pricing

Realme has finally launched its Realme Narzo 50 5G series in India on Wednesday. The…

Poco C40 and C40+ Officially Confirmed to be in the Works

The popular smartphone manufacturer Poco is apparently gearing up for the launch of a new…

BSNL Prepaid Plans Under Rs 500 That Are a Steal

The Indian telecom sector is dominated by the three private players – Reliance Jio, Airtel…

Vodafone Idea and C-DoT Sign MoU to Develop and Deploy IoT/M2M Solutions in India

Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), the third-largest telecom operator in the country, has just announced that…

iPhone 14 Launch Event Date Leaked, More Products to Launch on Same Day

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 14 series later in September this year. According…

Airtel Performed Way Better than Jio, Vi in Q4 FY22

The financial results for March 2022 quarter are out for all the private telecom operators…

Wi-Fi 6E Routers Add New 6 GHz Band, Should You Upgrade

Wi-Fi 6E routers are the next generation router technology that consumers will get to witness.…

Is 4G Enough for BSNL to Turn Things Over

4G networks from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will be available in multiple parts of…