Bharti Airtel, India's leading telecommunications services provider, stated today that it will spearhead the nation's 5G revolution. The company announced the acquisition of 19,800 MHz spectrum by securing a pan-India footprint of 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands. Furthermore, the organization was able to strategically increase the mid-band spectrum. The Department of Telecom, Government of India, obtained this large spectrum bank for a total consideration of Rs 43,084 cr in the most recent spectrum auction.
From this auction, Airtel acquired 5G spectrum for a period of 20 years. The addition of this large quantity of bandwidth to an already industry-leading pool of airwaves means that the corporation will not need to spend a significant amount of money on spectrum for many years to come. Furthermore, by acquiring this spectrum, Airtel has been able to significantly cut the payout towards spectrum use fee (SUC) and remove the unfavorable SUC arbitrage compared to new entrants.
Airtel now has the largest mobile broadband footprint in the country, putting it in a strong position to usher in the 5G revolution in India. Airtel has led the industry and championed 5G technology in India over the last year, testing many use cases with different partners in a variety of locales. Airtel has created and nurtured a vibrant ecosystem of partners and start-ups to support faster adoption of next-generation technologies, from demonstrating India's first 5G experience over a live 4G network in Hyderabad to India's first rural 5G trial to the first cloud gaming experience on 5G to the successful deployment of India's first captive private network on the trial spectrum.
Airtel has been quite adept in its competitive spectrum purchase strategy over the years. It has amassed the greatest pool of low and mid band spectrum (Sub GHz/1800/2100/2300 bands) that can be leveraged to give the finest 5G coverage, while vast capacities in the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands will allow Airtel to achieve 100X capacities at the lowest cost. This well-planned approach for acquiring spectrum through auctions, M&A, and trading has helped Airtel to sidestep the requirement for a costly sub-GHz band.
This enables Airtel to accomplish all of its targets, including the greatest 5G experience, 100x capacity improvement, and the most power-efficient solutions, all of which contribute to the company's ambitious ESG ambitions. Even more crucially, this will provide Airtel a long-term competitive edge in offering the lowest total cost of ownership.
Airtel now intends to roll out 5G services throughout the country, beginning with major cities. The business is certain that its higher-quality client base would rapidly adopt 5G devices in the country. Furthermore, Airtel's strong presence in the Enterprise category will enable a plethora of industrial use cases, further solidifying Airtel's leadership in the B2B market.