Bharti Airtel the largest operator by subscriber base has managed to add a total of 173.8 MHz to its overall spectrum holding at a cost of Rs. 14,244 crore. With this purchase, Airtel now becomes the first operator to possess Pan India 2G/3G/4G spectrum.
Through strategic buying, in the latest auction, Airtel has built new 4G/3G capabilities in 7 circles. The Company has spent Rs. 10,340 cr towards enhancing data capacities in 15 circles. It has also spent Rs 321 cr towards completing some of the existing partial blocks in 4 circles, giving it a second Carrier for its future needs.
|3G, 4G FD/TD LTE New Capability|
|Jammu & Kashmir||1800||2.4||31|
|3G/4G TD LTE Additional Carrier|
|Jammu & Kashmir||2100||5.0||55|
|4G FD LTE Future Additional Carrier|
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “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 leading India’s data revolution. We remain fully committed to the Government’s Digital India vision and will continue to invest towards making world-class and affordable data services available to customers in every corner of the country.”
The Company added that despite the large amount of spectrum made available, certain bands did not get any bid from the operators as it made no economic case for them based on the high reserve prices. Three to four national operators with robust 700 Mhz based broadband networks have the potential to accelerate India’s progress to the top league of digitally enabled nations. Therefore, the pricing of the 700 Mhz band spectrum needs to be addressed on priority for the nation to benefit from the digital dividend arising out of this high quality spectrum band.
Esmail is our very own in-house spectrum specialist. He is passionate about Telecom, DTH and OTT video streaming apps. When not writing an article, you can find him binge watching shows on Netflix while sipping on a cup of coffee.