Airtel pays Rs 8,312 cr to GoI for 5G spectrum

New Delhi, Aug 17 (Agency) Telecom major Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said it has paid Rs 8,312.4 crore to the Department of Telecom towards dues for spectrum acquired in the recently concluded 5G auctions.The company in a media statement said that it has paid four 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 concentrate on the 5G roll out,” Airtel said.

The government last month put 72,098 MHz spectrum to auction, of which 51,236 MHz (71 per cent of the total) had been sold with the total bid amounting to Rs 1,50,173 crore.The total bid amount comprises the bids of Rs 212 crore by Adani Data Networks, Rs 43,048 crore by Bharti Airtel, Rs 88,078 crore by Reliance Jio Infocomm and Rs 18,799 crore by Vodafone idea Ltd.Bharti Airtel has obtained 19,867.8 MHz airwaves in 900, 1800, 2100, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands.Speaking about the pre-payment of dues, Bharti Airtel MD & CEO Gopal Vittal said that the upfront payment of 4 years allows the company to drive 5G rollout in a concerted manner.”Airtel also has access to Rs 15,740.5 crore 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,” he said.