India's second largest telecom player Bharti Airtel has paid Rs 8312.40 crore, nearly $1 billion, to the Department of Telecom (DoT) for 5G spectrum, it said in a regulatory filing on August 17.
The Sunil Mittal-led telco 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," Bharti Airtel said.
Airtel is now hopeful that the future business proceeds can be deployed to concentrate on 5G rollout.
Gopal Vittal MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel Ltd said, "Airtel also has access to Rs 15,740 crore rupees in capital from the rights issue, which is yet to be called."
Over last one year, Airtel has managed to clear Rs 24,333.70 crores of deferred spectrum liabilities, much ahead of schedule, the regulatory filing added.
The DoT had extended the due date to August 17 for entities to make the payment for the spectrum acquired by them in the recently-concluded auctions. The due date was extended by a day on account of bank holiday on August 16 in Mumbai and Maharashtra circles, according to an official note.
The country's biggest ever auction of telecom spectrum received a record Rs 1.5 lakh crore worth of bids, with Mukesh Ambani's Jio cornering nearly half of all the airwaves sold with a Rs 87,946.93 crore bid. Richest Indian Gautam Adani's group has placed bids worth Rs 211.86 crore for 400 MHz in a band that is not used for offering public telephony services.
Bharti Airtel made a successful bid of Rs 43,039.63 crore while Vodafone Idea Ltd bought spectrum for Rs 18,786.25 crore.
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