Airtel joins Jio, Vodafone Idea in making upfront payments to DoT for spectrum – ET Telecom

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Bharti Airtel became the latest telco to make its upfront payment of Rs6,323.98 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the spectrum bought in the just-ended auctions. Earlier in the day, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Vodafone Idea had made upfront payments of Rs 15,019.84 crore and Rs574.65 crore respectively.

In the 4G spectrum auctions ended on March 2, the government sold airwaves worth Rs77,814 crore, or 37% of the over 2308 MHz of spectrum of sale. The 700MHz airwaves went unsold again, like in 2016.

Shares of Vi were trading at Rs 9.92, up 0.81% in the late afternoon trade on the BSE on Thursday. Jio’s parent Reliance Industries shares were trading at Rs 2001, down 2.63%, on the BSE, while Airtel was down 0.6% at Rs519.50.

Jio picked up 488.35 MHz of spectrum in 22 circles across India in the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz bands for Rs 57,123 crore. .Rival Airtel acquired 355.45 MHz of spectrum across the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands, besides the 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands, for Rs 18,699 crore.

Vi, the least aggressive bidder in the 4G auction, bought 11.8 MHz of airwaves in five circles for Rs 1,993.4 crore and according to DoT.

Jio and Bharti Airtel bulked up on crucial airwaves to cater to the surge in data usage and future-proof themselves ahead of 5G rollouts, while Vodafone Idea (Vi) bought spectrum needed to beef up its 4G holdings.

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