Airtel has paid Rs 8,312.4 crores to the Department of Telecom (Government of India) toward dues for spectrum acquired in the recently concluded 5G auctions.
Airtel has paid four years of 2022 spectrum dues upfront. Airtel 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 and allow Airtel to dedicate resources to single-mindedly concentrate on the 5G rollout.
Over the last year, Airtel has also cleared Rs 24,333.7 crores of its deferred spectrum liabilities much ahead of scheduled maturities.
Speaking about the pre-payment of dues Gopal Vittal, managing director and CEO of Bharti Airtel, said, "This upfront payment of 4 years allows us to drive 5G rollout in a concerted manner given our operating free cash flow. 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."
This month, Airtel announced that it has signed 5G network agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to commence 5G deployment. The choice of multiple partners was said to enable Airtel to roll out 5G services spanning ultra-high-speeds, low latency and large data handling capabilities, which will enable a superior user experience and allow the pursuit of new, innovative use cases with enterprise and industry customers.