Airtel pays ₹8312.4 crores in advance for 5G spectrum

New Delhi-based telecom operator, Bharti Airtel released a statement on Wednesday stating that the company has paid 8312.4 crore Indian rupees as an advance payment for dues on the 5G spectrum.

The auction for the 5G spectrum in the country concluded on August 1. The government of India was able to fetch nearly 1.5 trillion Indian rupees from the spectrum auction, which lasted for 7 straight days.

According to the statement by Bharti Airtel, the telecom giant has so far paid its dues for 4 years, in advance.

The company said that it made an upfront payment for the spectrum, and dues of the moratorium on the spectrum, in order to free up cash flow for the future. The company will also make sure that the payments related to AGR are also completed as soon as possible.

The upfront payment of dues is expected to help the company in focussing its resources on rolling out 5G as soon as possible and developing on it.

Apart from payments on the 5G spectrum, Airtel has also cleared nearly, 24333.7 crore rupees of various other spectrum liabilities which got differed until now. The payment of those liabilities happened over the last year. It is also reported that many of those liabilities had more time for maturity.

Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bharti Airtel, said that with the current momentum of operating cash flow, making upfront payments of dues will help the company roll out 5G in a conjunctive manner.

He also said that the telecom company has still not called 15740.5 crore rupees which have been raised through from rights issue of its shares.

Gopal Vittal added that the company is planning to bring to India, a world-class experience of 5G, which could be achieved with the help of high-level technology, an efficiently working spectrum bank and adequate free cash flow.

Soon after the advance payment on the spectrum, the Department of Telecom under the government of India send a letter to Bharti Airtel informing the company that it has been allocated the spectrum.

The country witnessed 40 rounds of auctions of the 5G spectrum in 7 days. Airtel was able to acquire nearly, 19800 MHz.

The long-awaited auction also saw the participation of market heavyweights such as Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and Adani Group.

As of now, all telecom companies who participated in the auction, have together paid 17876 crore rupees to the department of telecom.

Reliance Jio, owned by multi-billionaire industrialist, Mukesh Ambani, acquired almost half of the spectrum airwaves in the auction. Jio made an overall bid worth 87946 crore Indian rupees during the auction.