Reliance Jio is soon going to pay around Rs 7,864 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for its instalment towards the 5G spectrum. To recall, Jio acquired spectrum worth Rs 88,078 crore from the telecom department back in 2022 to roll out 5G. This will be Jio's second instalment towards the spectrum payments. The telco is trying to roll out 5G in all cities and towns of India by the end of December 2023 and seems to be on track with its goal.
Jio acquired spectrum in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz for the 5G rollout. The telco is deploying 5G SA (standalone) and is going to announce the 5G FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) service soon as well.
According to an ET report, the deadline to make the payment for the second instalment is August 17, 2023. It is worth noting that Bharti Airtel, a prominent telecom player in India, made an upfront payment of Rs 8,312.4 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in August 2022. This payment was for the 5G spectrum instalment of four years in advance. So Airtel can comfortably sit and focus on other network investments, or it can again choose to prepay for the spectrum instalments for more years.
Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Adani Data Networks also acquired spectrum in the 2022 spectrum auctions. These players will also be due to make the payment for the spectrum instalments. Vodafone Idea had recently asked the government for more time to make statutory payments as it has not yet been able to raise funds from the market. Thus, how the company makes the payment for the 5G spectrum instalment is something we will have to wait and see.
The last date for all of these companies to pay the second instalment is August 17, 2023.