Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said that it has acquired 355.45 MHz spectrum across Sub GHz, mid band and 2m300 MHz bands for a total consideration of Rs 18,699 crore in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
A company statement said the the acquisition give Airtel the most formidable spectrum holdings in the country.
“Airtel has now secured pan-India footprint of Sub GHz spectrum that will help improve its deep indoor and in building coverage in every urban town,” it said.
In addition, this spectrum will also help improve its coverage in villages by offering the superior Airtel experience to an additional 90 million customers in India, it added.
Through this auction, Airtel has also strengthened its mid band and capacity spectrum holdings that will help it provide an exceptional customer experience at marginal capex. All the spectrum will enable Airtel to deliver 5G services in future.
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said: “Airtel now has a solid spectrum portfolio that will enable it to continue delivering the best mobile broadband experience in India. We are most excited at bringing the power of Airtel services to an additional 90 million customers in India through the power of our Pan India Sub GHz footprint.”
The company added that despite the large amount of spectrum made available, the 700 MHz band did not get any bid from the operators as it made no economic case for them based on the high reserve prices.
The 700 MHz band coupled with the 3.5 GHz band has the potential to accelerate India’s progress to the top league of digitally enabled nations. Therefore, the reserve pricing of these bands must be addressed on priority in future.
This will help the nation to benefit from the digital dividend that will inevitably arise out of this, the telco said.