Airtel recently secured 19,800 MHz of spectrum in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecom
India’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, aims to deploy 5G services across the country starting with some initial key cities, the telco said in a release.
The telco recently secured 19,800 megahertz of spectrum in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecom. Bharti Airtel secured a pan-Indian footprint in the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands, in addition to bolstering its mid-band holdings.
Gopal Vittal, managing director and CEO at Bharti Airtel said: “Airtel is delighted with the results of the 5G auction. This spectrum acquisition at the latest auction has been a part of a deliberate strategy to buy the best spectrum assets at a substantially lower relative cost compared to our competition. This will allow us to raise the bar on innovation and address the emerging needs of every discerning customer who demands the best experience in India.”
“We are confident that we will be able to deliver the best 5G experience in India in terms of coverage, speeds and latency. This will allow us to change a lot of established paradigms for both our B2C and B2B customers. 5G technology is the revolution that can alter India’s manufacturing, services and several other sectors. We remain fully committed to the Government’s Digital India vision and will continue to do what is needed to ensure that India becomes a beacon for the world in terms of technology,” Vittal added.
The 5G spectrum auction in India concluded on August 1 and according to the country’s telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, local carriers purchased a total $19 billion worth of spectrum.
Reliance Jio walked away with the most spectrum, having spent $11 billion. Airtel won spectrum worth $5.4 billion, while Vodafone received spectrum worth $2.4 billion. Finally, Adani purchased spectrum worth approximately $27 million, which it will use to offer private 5G network services.
Vaishnaw said of the 72,098 megahertz of spectrum offered across 10 bands, 51,236 megahrtz, or 71%, was sold in the auction.
The minister also confirmed that the new frequencies will be awarded on August 10, while 5G services are expected to be rolled out starting in October.
According to Indian press reports, some of the cities that will initially have 5G services are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.
5G is projected to account for almost 40% of mobile subscriptions in India – 500 million – by the end of 2027, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.
According to the Swedish vendor, even though 5G has not been launched commercially, there is already a good foundation for 5G uptake in India. An Ericsson ConsumerLab study indicated that 40 million smartphone users in India could take up 5G in its first year of availability.
According to an Ericsson-Arthur D Little study, 5G will enable Indian mobile service providers to generate $17 billion in incremental revenue from enterprises by 2030. Much of this is projected to be driven by the adoption of 5G in the manufacturing, energy and utilities, ICT and retail industries.