As expected, Vodafone Idea stayed low-key during the 4G spectrum auctions 2021. The telco focused mainly on renewing the spectrum that was expiring soon. It is worth noting that Vi entered the auctions with the largest quantum of spectrum amongst all the operators. But it also purchased spectrum in five circles to enhance its 4G network’s efficiency and experience. Analysts expected Vi to make the least purchases since the telco already had enough spectrum due to Vodafone and Idea's merger. All Vi needs at the moment is new subscribers, not a spectrum.
Vi Hopeful for 5G Spectrum Auctions to Take Place Soon
The telco, in a release, said that it has purchased a new spectrum in five circles of India. Vi is hopeful that the spectrum auction for the 5G bands takes place soon. It further said that the spectrum prices should be fairly assessed so that operators can rollout out new networks rapidly.
According to Ookla, Vi had the fastest 4G network in the previous two quarters. The telco has purchased spectrum in only five telecom circles and hopes to improve network experience in those five circles where it believes more efficiency is required.
Vi ignored the 700 MHz spectrum band, which was expected since the band's reserve price was very high. Airtel also ignored the 700 MHz bands citing the reason as 'exorbitant reserve price'. Compared to Vi, Bharti Airtel purchased a ton of spectrum and spent Rs 18,699 crores for acquiring a total of 355.45 MHz of spectrum across several bands.
Airtel spent most of its money on the Sub GHz bands and is looking to improve the network experience for its customers staying indoors in urban cities. The telco has further said that with the new spectrum, it will provide network coverage to 90 million additional users living in the rural parts of India.