Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has paid Rs 8312.4 crores to the Department of Telecom (Government of India) towards dues for spectrum acquired in the recently concluded 5G auctions.
Airtel has paid 4 years of 2022 spectrum dues upfront. The Company believes that this upfront payment coupled with the moratorium on spectrum dues and AGR related payments for four years will free up future cash flows and allow Airtel to dedicate resources to single-mindedly concentrating on the 5G rollout.
Over last one year, Airtel has also cleared Rs 24,333.7 crores of its deferred spectrum liabilities much ahead of scheduled maturities.
“This upfront payment of 4 years allows us to drive 5G rollout in a concerted manner given our operating free cash flow. Airtel also has access to Rs 15,740.5 Cr 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,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel Ltd.
According to reports the 5G market in India is projected to be valued at INR 32.43 billion by 2020 and is estimated to reach INR 19,053.09 billion by 2025, expanding at an exceptional compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 90 per cent from 2021-2027 period.
India’s 5G auction of telecom spectrum received a record Rs 1.5 lakh crore of bids, with Airtel making a bid of Rs 43,084 crore, while Vodafone Idea Ltd bought spectrum for Rs 18,799 crore. Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said of the 72,098 MHz of spectrum offered across 10 bands, 51,236 MHz, or 71 per cent, was sold.