News Brief

5G Spectrum Auction Ends With Bharti Airtel As Biggest Buyer, Government Sells Just 12 Per Cent Of Listed Value

Swarajya Staff

Jun 26, 2024, 06:32 PM | Updated 06:32 PM IST

Bharti Airtel office building in Gurugram. (Representative image) (Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images)
Bharti Airtel office building in Gurugram. (Representative image) (Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images)

Bharti Airtel has secured 97 MHz of spectrum in key circles for a period of 20 years, spending Rs 6,857 crore, as per a stock exchange filing on Wednesday (26 June).

Airtel has emerged as the top spender among telecom companies in India’s second 5G spectrum sale, which saw the government raise around Rs 11,300 crore.

Out of the total acquisition, Bharti Hexacom purchased 15 MHz for Rs 1,001 crore, according to a report by The Economic Times.

In a press release, Bharti Airtel stated, "Airtel acquires 97 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz frequency bands through the auction for Rs 6,857 crore. Airtel successfully renewed spectrum that was expiring in 2024 along with additional spectrum purchase to bolster its mid-band holding across key circles."

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO of Bharti Airtel, commented, "Airtel continues to judiciously acquire the right amount of spectrum to deliver the best possible experience to our customers. In this auction, we have bolstered our sub‐gigahertz and mid‐band holdings, significantly improving our coverage, especially indoors."

India’s spectrum auction concluded swiftly on Wednesday, the second day of bidding, wrapping up within hours.

Telecom operators purchased over Rs 11,300 crore worth of radio waves, just 12 per cent of the Rs 96,238 crore minimum value set by the government.

The auction featured 10 GHz of spectrum across bands from 800 MHz to 26 GHz.

On the first day, 25 June, five rounds of bidding took place, but limited activity on the second day led officials to close the auction by 11:30 am.

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