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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Bharti Airtel settles spectrum liabilities worth Rs 7,904 cr with DoT

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In Short:

Bharti Airtel has fully paid off its deferred spectrum liabilities of Rs 7,904 crore to the Department of Telecommunications. This includes payments for spectrum acquired in auctions from 2012 and 2015. The telecom company had previously prepaid Rs 8,325 crore in January. This development precedes the upcoming 5G spectrum auction, where analysts expect muted bidding as major players already have sufficient 5G spectrum.


Bharti Airtel Fully Prepays Deferred Spectrum Liabilities to DoT

Bharti Airtel announced on Friday that it has fully prepaid its deferred spectrum liabilities of Rs 7,904 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Background

This payment covers all deferred liabilities related to spectrum acquired in auctions held in 2012 and 2015 with interest costs of 9.75% and 10% respectively. Earlier in January 2024, Airtel prepaid Rs 8,325 crore.

The deferred liabilities were part of a four-year moratorium granted by the government in September 2021 as part of a relief package.

5G Spectrum Auction

This development precedes the upcoming 5G spectrum auction scheduled for June 25. The auction includes airwaves in eight bands amounting to over Rs 96,000 crore at base prices.

While analysts anticipate a subdued bidding process, with Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) already possessing sufficient 5G spectrum, Airtel and Vodafone Idea are expected to focus on specific bands in markets where spectrum renewals are necessary.

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