Bharti Airtel said it has secured 173.8 Mhz of airwaves for Rs 14,244 crore in the spectrum auction that concluded today. Airtel said it has secured “spectrum requirements for the next 20 years” and now has 4G and 3G spectrum in all circles.
The spectrum was acquired in 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2300MHz, the country’s largest operator in terms of subscribers said in a statement. Over the past six years, the company has acquired spectrum worth about Rs 1 lakh crore through auctions and trading.
“Through strategic buying, in the latest auction, Airtel has built new 4G/3G capabilities in seven circles. The company has spent Rs 10,340 crore towards enhancing data capacities in 15 circles,” it added.
It has also spent Rs 321 crore towards completing some of the existing partial blocks in four circles, giving it a second carrier for its future needs.
“Airtel now has a solid spectrum portfolio that will enable it to continue leading India’s data revolution. We will continue to invest towards making world-class and affordable data services available to customers in every corner of the country,” Bharti Airtel MD and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said.
On 700MHz and 900MHz not eliciting any interest from operators, the company these bands did not get any bid from the operators as “it made no economic case for them based on the high reserve prices”.
“Three to four national operators with robust 700 Mhz based broadband networks have the potential to accelerate India’s progress to the top league of digitally enabled nations. Therefore, the pricing of the 700 Mhz band spectrum needs to be addressed on priority for the nation to benefit from the digital dividend arising out of this high quality spectrum band,” the company added.