Telecom

Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw asks Jio, Airtel, Vi to gear up for 5G rollout in India

Airtel has said that it will start rolling out 5G connectivity in India starting this month. Jio and Vodafone Idea too are expected to roll out 5G services soon.

Published:Fri, August 19, 2022 12:59pm

By Shweta Ganjoo

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The Department of Telecom (DoT) completed 5G spectrum auction in India last month with Jio acquiring 24,740MHz of the 5G spectrum, Airtel getting 19867.8MHz of the spectrum and Vi acquiring 3300MHz of the spectrum. More recently, Jio, Airtel, Vi and Adani Data Networks paid a sum of Rs 17,876 crores as a part of the initial payment for 5G auction. Now, just days after the payment was made Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has asked the telecom operators in India to gear up for rolling out 5G-based services in India.

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"Spectrum assignment letter issued. Requesting TSPs to prepare for 5G launch," the Telecom Minister wrote in a post on Twitter.

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Interestingly, the speed with which DoT has processed 5G spectrum related dues has garnered praises from Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.

"Yesterday Airtel paid Rs 8312.4 crore towards spectrum dues and was provided the allocation letter for the designated frequency bands within hours. E-band allocation was given along with spectrum as promised," Mittal said in the statement earlier this week after Airtel paid Rs 8312.4 crores to DoT as a part of its dues for spectrum acquired in the recently concluded 5G auctions.

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"No Fuss, No Follow Up, No running around the corridors and No tall claims. This is ease of doing business at work in its full glory," he added.

As mentioned before, all the four companies -- Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Adani Data Networks have paid the first installment of their 5G spectrum auction dues to DoT. While Reliance Jio has made payment of Rs 7,864.78 crore, Vodafone Idea has paid Rs 1,679.98 crore and Adani Data Networks has paid a sum of Rs 18.94 crore. Airtel, on the other hand, has paid four annual installments in advance, which totals to Rs 8312.4 crores.

While sharing details about the move, the company said that this upfront payment of four years will enable it to drive 5G rollout in a concerted manner. "Airtel also has access to Rs 15,740.5 Cr in capital from the rights issue which is yet to be called. With the ideal spectrum bank, best technology and adequate free cash flow, we are excited to bring to the country a world class 5G experience," Airtel MD and CEO, Gopal Vittal, had said at the time.

As far as 5G roll out is concerned, Airtel has said that it will start rolling out 5G connectivity in India starting this month. Jio was expected to start rolling out 5G connectivity in India on August 15. Now, it is anticipated that the company will make an announcement in this regard at its AGM later this month.

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