Airtel Pays DoT to Continue Using Spectrum in Circles Where it was Expiring Soon

In the next auctions, Airtel will focus on renewing the spectrum in circles where it is expiring. The telco won't spend a lot on 4G or 5G airwaves and also reduce capex towards 5G rollout in the next financial year (FY25).

Highlights

  • Bharti Airtel, a prominent telco, has paid the Department of Telecommunications Rs 35 crore to use spectrum in six circles where it was set to expire this year.
  • The spectrum will be available for Airtel to use for three more months.
  • The payment has been made by Airtel to ensure that the services for customers do not see any interruption.

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airtel pays dot to continue using spectrum

Bharti Airtel, a prominent telecom player in India, has paid the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Rs 35 crore to use spectrum in six circles where it was set to expire this year. As per an ET report, the spectrum will be available for Airtel to use for three more months. The payment has been made by Airtel to ensure that the services for customers do not see any interruption. This three-month extension is there because the next round of spectrum auctions is yet to take place.




In the next auctions, Airtel will focus on renewing the spectrum in circles where it is expiring. The telco won't spend a lot on 4G or 5G airwaves and also reduce capex towards 5G rollout in the next financial year (FY25). The telcos have the option to extend the expiry of the spectrum by another three months by making a provisional payment or until the next spectrum auction is concluded.

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Bharti Airtel has the second-largest wireless subscriber base in India. For Airtel, the spectrum license was set to expire on Feb 9 in five circles and for one more circle, it was in July. But now, the validity of the spectrum license has been extended and because of that, Airtel can continue offering mobile network services in these circles without any interruptions.

Circles including Bihar, UP (East), West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, and J&K are the areas where Airtel would see its spectrum license expiring soon. The government is expected to hold a spectrum auction in March 2024, in line with the government's goal of holding one spectrum auction every financial year. The previous spectrum auction took place in FY23 where Jio and Airtel bid heavily to acquire 5G spectrum.

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Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) will likely spend money on renewing licenses for spectrum in the 900 MHz, and 1800 MHz bands in the next auctions.

Reported By

Tanuja is a passionate technology and telecom buff who has been following the telecom industry for several years now.

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