The Department of Telecom (DoT) has received an upfront payment of about Rs 17,876 crore from Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Adani Data Networks and Vodafone Idea for spectrum they won in a recent auction, according to sources. While all telecom operators have opted to make payments in 20 annual installments, Bharti Airtel has paid Rs 8,312.4 crore, which is equivalent to four annual installments.
Reliance Jio has paid Rs. 7,864.78 crore, Vodafone Idea Rs. 1,679.98 crore and Adani Data Networks Rs. 18.94 crores.
“DoT has received a total payment of approximately Rs. 17,876 crore. Only Bharti Airtel has paid for four annual installments at once,” an official source said.
The largest telecom spectrum auction ever in the country received a record amount of Rs. 1.5 lakh crore in bids, with Mukesh Ambani’s Jio selling almost half of all ether at a Rs. 87,946.93 crore bid.
Gautam Adani’s group has placed bids worth Rs 211.86 crore for the 400 MHz in a band not used for the provision of public telephone services.
Telecom magnate Sunil Bharti Mittal’s Bharti Airtel made a successful bid of Rs. 43,039.63 crore while Vodafone Idea Ltd bought spectrum for Rs. 18,786.25 crores.
On Wednesday, telecom operator Airtel announced that it had paid Rs. 8,312.4 crore to the Ministry of Telecom for fees for spectrum acquired in the recently closed 5G auctions.
With the payment, Airtel has prepaid four years of spectrum rights for 2022. The company had an option to pay Rs. 3,848.88 crore in advance and the rest in 19 annual installments.
Airtel said it believes that this prepayment, combined with the moratorium on spectrum rights and AGR-related (Adjusted Gross Revenue)-related payments for four years, will free up future cash flows and allow Airtel to devote resources to deliberately focus roll out on 5G.