Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal has praised the government for issuing the 5G spectrum allocation letter along with E-band airwaves within hours of making its initial payment for spectrum acquired in the recent 5G sale.
“Airtel paid Rs 8,312.4 cr towards spectrum dues and was provided the allocation letter for the designated frequency bands within hours…E band allocation was given along with spectrum as promised…in my over 30 years of first-hand experience with DoT, this is a first, business as it should be, leadership at work-right at the top and at the helm of telecom,” Mittal said in a statement.
The Bharti chairman added that this was ease of doing business at work in its full glory. “No fuss, no follow up, no running around the corridors and no tall claims. What a change ! Change that can transform this nation – power its dreams to be a developed nation.”
Only Airtel has chosen the option to pay more upfront amount while the remaining three firms – Jio, and Adani Data Networks — have opted for 20 equal annual instalments.
On Wednesay, Airtel paid Rs 8,312.4 crore to the telecom department, settling instalments for four years upfront while Jio paid its first instalment of Rs 7,864 crore. New entrant, Adani Data Networks too chose to pay in 20 equal instalments, depositing Rs 18.94 crore while Vi paid Rs 1,680 crore as the first instalment.
Last month, the DoT had decided to provisionally allot E-band airwaves exclusively to mobile operators via the administrative route in circles where they would hold 5G spectrum for meeting the latter’s backhaul needs.
The telcos, though, would need to pay a spectrum usage charge on these E band airwaves and also take part in an auction or any other method of allocation that the DoT decides later. Carriers will also need to pay the difference when the final price for such airwaves is decided by the government, though without interest.