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Bharti Airtel buys 19867.8 MHz spectrum; to commence 5G deployment from Aug
(04 Aug 2022)
The telecom company said that it has acquired 19,800 MHz spectrum by securing a pan India footprint of 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands. In addition, the company was able to selectively bolster mid-band spectrum. This massive spectrum bank was secured for a total consideration of Rs 43,084 cr in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecom, Government of India. Airtel has secured 5G spectrum for 20 years in this auction.

With this, the company will not need to spend any material sum on spectrum for many years to come. In addition, this spectrum acquisition has enabled Airtel to drastically reduce the payout towards spectrum usage charge (SUC) and eliminate the adverse SUC arbitrage compared to new entrants, Airtel said in a statement on Wednesday (4 August 2022).

The company said it now plans to launch 5G services in every part of the country starting with key cities. The company is convinced that its higher-quality customer base will adopt 5G devices at a rapid pace in the country. In addition, Airtel's presence in the Enterprise segment will allow for a slew of industrial use cases further strengthening Airtel's position in the B2B market.

In a separate announcement, Airtel said that it signed 5G network agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to commence 5G deployment in August 2022.

'Airtel has had a long-standing relationship for connectivity and Pan-India managed services with Ericsson and Nokia while the partnership with Samsung will begin this year onwards,' the company said.

Choice of multiple partners will enable Airtel to roll out 5G services spanning ultra-high-speeds, low latency and large data handling capabilities. The multi-year deal will see Nokia provide equipment from its market-leading AirScale portfolio along with solutions and services for network management, deployment, planning and optimization services to ensure the best end-user experiences. Airtel will also bring in South Korean Major Samsung as a network partner to deploy Airtel 5G. This is the first time that both companies will work together.

Airtel is a global communications solutions provider with over 490 million customers in 17 countries across South Asia and Africa. The company ranks among the top three mobile operators globally and its networks cover over two billion people. Airtel is India's largest integrated communications solutions provider and the second-largest mobile operator in Africa.

The board of Bharti Airtel will consider Q1 results on 8 August 2022. The company's consolidated net profit surged 164.5% to Rs 2,007.80 crore on 22.3% increase in net sales to Rs 31,500.30 crore in Q4 FY22 over Q4 FY21.

Shares of Bharti Airtel rose 0.92% to Rs 692.95 on Wednesday, 3 August 2022.

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