Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have submitted their upfront payments to DoT for the spectrum purchased earlier this month. As part of the official terms and conditions, the telcos purchasing spectrum will be required to pay a 50% or 25% upfront fee, depending on the band. The DoT is required to collect a 25% upfront fee for the spectrum purchased in 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands, and the same for spectrum purchased in 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands will be 50%. According to ET Telecom, Reliance Jio paid Rs 15,019.84 crore towards the upfront fee, followed by Bharti Airtel and Vi with Rs 6,323.98 crore and Rs 574.65 crore payments.
At the Spectrum Auction 2021, Reliance Jio purchased the maximum spectrum in 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz bands for Rs 57,123 crore. The DoT sold airwaves worth Rs 77,814 crore in the auction, with Jio being the aggressive buyer. Airtel is second to Jio as it purchased spectrum worth Rs 18,699 crore in five bands- 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz. As noted, Airtel paid Rs 6,323.98 crore to the DoT, and Vi paid Rs 574.65 crore for the spectrum it purchased in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands.
Right after the spectrum auction, the DoT sent notices to telecom operators asking to pay the upfront fee immediately. And all the three telcos who participated in the auction paid the respective amounts. The remaining amount can be paid by the operators over 16 annual instalments. Successful buyers of the spectrum will be presented with the option of making the payment at one go or pay either a 25% or 50% upfront fee with the remaining amount through 16 annual instalments.
Operators will receive the purchased spectrum in the coming weeks. With the spectrum in 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands, telcos can boost indoor coverage, whereas the spectrum over 2300 MHz can be used to meet the growing demand for telecom services.