Recently, Airtel acquired 5G spectrum worth Rs 43,084 crore in the 5G auction and the company said that its 5G deployment will start in August 2022. Now Airtel has said that it has paid Rs. 8,312.4 crore to the Department of Telecom (DoT) towards dues for spectrum acquired in the recently concluded 5G auctions.
Airtel has said that it has paid four years of 2022 spectrum dues upfront. This upfront payment will free up future cash flows. Because of that, Airtel said that it would be able to concentrate further on the 5G rollout in the country.
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The company further added that it has cleared Rs 24,333.7 crore of its deferred spectrum liabilities much ahead of scheduled maturities.
Sunil Bharti Mittal – Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises has also applauded Government. He said that “No Fuss, No Follow Up, No running around the corridors and No tall claims. This is ease of doing business at work in its full glory. In my over 30 years of first-hand experience with DOT, this is a first! Business as it should be. Leadership at work-Right at the top and at the helm of telecom. What a Change! Change that can transform this nation – power its dreams to be a developed nation.”
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel, said that “This upfront payment of 4 years allows us to drive 5G rollout in a concerted manner given our operating free cash flow. Airtel also has access to Rs 15,740.5 Cr in capital from the rights issue, which is yet to be called. With the ideal spectrum bank, best technology and adequate free cash flow, we are excited to bring to the country a world-class 5G experience.”
Airtel has signed 5G network agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to commence 5G launch in August 2022. It has already had a relationship for connectivity and Pan-India managed services with Ericsson and Nokia while the partnership with Samsung will begin this year onwards.