Industry

5G spectrum | Airtel pays ₹8,312.4 crore to DoT to clear four-year installment in advance

Gopal Vittal. File

Gopal Vittal. File

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has paid ₹8,312.4 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) towards dues for spectrum acquired in the recently concluded 5G auctions, the company said on August 17. With the payment, Airtel has paid four years of 2022 5G spectrum dues upfront.

Explained | How will the 5G spectrum sale impact the sector?

Airtel said it believes that this upfront payment, coupled with the moratorium on spectrum dues and AGR (adjusted gross revenue)-related payments for four years, will free up future cash flows and allow Airtel to dedicate resources to single-mindedly concentrate on the 5G rollout.

Bharti Airtel made a successful bid of ₹43,039.63 crore. “This upfront payment of four years allows us to drive 5G rollout in a concerted manner given our operating free cash flow. Airtel also has access to ₹15,740.5 crore 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," Bharti Airtel MD and CEO Gopal Vittal said in the statement. The company had an option to pay ₹3,848.88 crore upfront and the rest in 19 annual installments.

Editorial | Dialling right: On 5G spectrum sale

The country's biggest ever auction of telecom spectrum received a record ₹1.5 lakh crore worth of bids, with Mukesh Ambani's Jio cornering nearly half of all the airwaves sold with ₹87,946.93 crore bid. Over the last one year, Airtel said it has also cleared ₹24,333.7 crore of its deferred spectrum liabilities much ahead of scheduled maturities.


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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 2:53:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/5g-spectrum-airtel-pays-83124-crore-to-dot-to-clear-four-year-installment-in-advance/article65778236.ece