Airtel acquires 19,867.8 MHz spectrum worth ₹43,084 Crores in Auctions

Bharti Airtel, which is among the largest telecom service providers in India, today acquired 19,800 MHz spectrum for about ₹43,084 Crores and secures the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands in India. The company is able to selectively support the mid-band spectrum in the latest spectrum auctions conducted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India and is all set to lead India’s 5G revolution.


Airtel acquires 5G spectrum in 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100MHz, 3,300 MHz, and 26 GHz frequency bands through the auction for ₹43,084 Crores which is secured for 20 years. The ideal spectrum bank for the best 5G experience, and 100x capacity enhancement all done strategically at the least cost as per Airtel.

Gopal Vittal, M.D & CEO, 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.”

Here’s the details of the spectrum acquisition in the latest auction below.

The acquisition strapped onto an already industry-best existing pool of spectrum will mean that the company does not need to spend any material sum on the spectrum for many years to come. In addition, this spectrum acquisition has enabled Airtel to drastically reduce the payout towards spectrum usage charge (SUC) and eliminate the adverse SUC arbitrage. On the contrary, Reliance Jio also acquired spectrum worth ₹88,078 Crores which emerged as the highest bidder in the auctions, Jio took several bands including 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 3,300 MHz, and 26 GHz bands in the auctions.

Airtel now has the widest mobile broadband footprint in India to serve in the 5G revolution. In the past year, Airtel has led the industry and spearheaded 5G technology testing several use cases with multiple partners at many locations in the country. From demonstrating India’s first 5G experience over a live 4G network in Hyderabad to India’s first rural 5G trial to the first cloud gaming experience on 5G to the successful deployment of India’s first captive private network on the trial spectrum, Airtel has created and nurtured a vibrant ecosystem of partners and startups to support faster adoption of next-generation technologies.

Airtel has accumulated the largest pool of low and mid-band spectrum (Sub GHz / 1,800 / 2,100 / 2,300 bands) which can be used to provide the best 5G coverage while massive capacities in the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands will allow the company to create 100X capacities at the least cost.

Airtel now plans to launch 5G services in every part of the country starting with key cities. The company is convinced that their customer base will adopt 5G devices at a rapid pace in the country.