Bharti Airtel may face another setback as DoT is examining to add Videocon Telecommunications dues to the former's AGR bill. This essentially means that Airtel's AGR bill might see an increase by another Rs 2,041 crore, according to an ET Telecom report. For the unaware, the overall AGR dues of Bharti Airtel currently stands at around Rs 35,586 crore and the company has already paid Rs 10,000 crore last week. While Airtel might have to pay the dues of Videcon Telecom, the dues of Aircel and Reliance Communications (RCom) may not be added, says the report. For now, there is no official confirmation from the DoT or Bharti Airtel, so take this news with a pinch of salt.
Bharti Airtel AGR Bill Might Go Up by Rs 2,041 Crore
To recall, Bharti Airtel purchased 25 Mhz of spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band from Videocon back in 2016. The overall sum of the deal was Rs 4,428 crore. Since the airwaves were used in the 2G and 3G category by Videocon, Airtel will now have to pay the dues since it purchased the deal. On the other hand, Airtel even purchased spectrum from Aircel; In 2016 itself, Airtel bought 23 Mhz spectrum in the 2300 Mhz 4G band, but it may not have to pay any dues for the same because of the 4G spectrum usage.
"This is because most of the defunct telco's dues come from its 2G and 3G airwaves whereas Airtel had picked up the barely used 4G spectrum," says the report. Airtel's overall AGR dues could be increased by Rs 2,041 crore, which will take the overall number to Rs 37,627 crore.
DoT is looking into the spectrum trading deal between Bharti Airtel and Videocon and dues that need to be paid. Airtel may have to pick up a chunk of it," said an official aware of the matter to the publication.
DoT May Collect Some AGR Dues from Aircel and RCom
The report also says that DoT might be able to collect part of the dues from Aircel and Reliance Communications (RCom). Right now, both the telcos are in the middle of bankruptcy, so DoT will try to collect at least part of the dues from both the telcos. Since both of them are in the insolvency process, the DoT may get only a 'fraction' of the dues. To recall, Aircel announced the closure of services in early 2018, whereas RCom announced the same in late 2017 itself after its merger deal.