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Airtel buys 355.45 MHz of airwaves for Rs 18,699 crore –

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel Tuesday said that it has acquired 355.45 MHz spectrum across sub GHz, mid band and 2300 MHz bands for Rs 18,699 crores in the latest spectrum auction which ended earlier in the day.

“Airtel has now secured Pan India foot print of sub GHz spectrum that will help improve its deep indoor and in building coverage in every urban town. In addition, this precious spectrum will also help improve its coverage in villages by offering the superior Airtel experience to an additional 90 million customers in India,” the telco said in a statement.

The company bought spectrum 48.85 MHz of the sub-GHz bands in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands for Rs9,457 crore, 86.6 MHz of mid-band spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands for Rs6,172 Crore and 220 MHz of capacity spectrum in the 2300 MHz band for Rs3,070 crore, Airtel said.

Its shares were up 0.5% at Rs535 on the BSE in afternoon trade.
Through this auction, Airtel has also decisively strengthened its mid band and capacity spectrum holdings that will help it provide an exceptional customer experience at marginal capex. “All of the spectrum will enable Airtel to deliver 5G services in future.”

“At the outset, we would like to thank the Government for making abundant spectrum available for auctions. Airtel now has a solid spectrum portfolio that will enable it to continue delivering the best mobile broadband experience in India,” Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said in the statement.

The company added that despite the large amount of spectrum made available, the 700 MHz band bands did not get any bid from the operators as it made no economic case for them based on the high reserve prices.

“The 700 MHz band coupled with the 3.5 GHz band has the potential to accelerate India’s progress to the top league of digitally enabled nations. Therefore, the reserve pricing of these bands must be addressed on priority in future. This will help the nation to benefit from the digital dividend that will inevitably arise out of this,” the operator said.