As a part of the spectrum auction, both Airtel and Vi have acquired their spectrums for the networks. Bharti today said that it has acquired 355.45 MHz spectrum across Sub GHz, mid band and 2300 MHz bands for a total consideration of Rs 18,699 crores in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecom, Government of India. This gives Airtel the most formidable spectrum holdings in the country.
Airtel has now secured Pan India foot print of Sub GHz spectrum that will help improve its deep indoor and in building coverage in every urban town. In addition, this precious spectrum will also help improve its coverage in villages by offering the superior Airtel experience to an additional 90 million customers in India.
Through this auction, Airtel has also decisively strengthened its mid band and capacity spectrum holdings that will help it provide an exceptional customer experience at marginal capex. All of the spectrum will enable Airtel to deliver 5G services in future, as per the company.
On the other hand, Vodafone Idea Ltd has acquired spectrum in India’s five telecom circles in the auction for 4G wireless service, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The company did not disclose the quantity of spectrum bought or the financial details of the transaction.
Vodafone said it entered this auction, which started on Monday, holding the largest quantum of spectrum with a small fraction due for expiry. “We have used this opportunity to optimise spectrum holding post-merger (of Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd in August 2018) to create further efficiencies in few circles… The spectrum we have acquired in 5 circles will help us enhance our 4G coverage and capacity, enabling superior digital experience for our customers,” the company said.
The company said it expects that a large quantum of spectrum will be made available for 5G services at fair prices to enable operators to roll out the technology rapidly.
In an interesting development, on Monday, communications, electronics and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government will soon make an announcement on 5G trials. However, no details were given regarding the timeline for the auction of spectrum in the 3,300-3,600MHz bands, that are reserved by the sector regulator for 5G.