India’s second-largest telecom operator Vodafone today said it will spend Rs 20,280 crore on the spectrum it has acquired in all its key telecom circles in the just-concluded auction.
“The new spectrum significantly enhances coverage, capacity and speed of Vodafone India’s 4G data services in its key circles, complementing existing high-quality 2G and 3G voice and data capabilities,” the company said in a statement.
Vodafone’s investment totals Rs 20,280 crore, of which Rs 10,140 crore is payable upfront.
Just last month, as the telecom industry was gearing up for the spectrum auction, Vodafone had announced that it had pumped in Rs 47,700 crore in its Indian arm since April.
Given the Rs 20,280 crore push for the spectrum purchase, Vodafone had emerged as the most aggressive bidder in the recently-concluded auction ahead of rivals such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and the new-comer Reliance Jio.
The statement further said the spectrum acquired has a 20-year term and added that the airwaves provide high-capacity, multi-band 4G capability operating across 1800, 2100 and 2500 MHz bands.
On the spectrum buy, Sunil Sood, Managing Director and CEO, Vodafone India, said, “We are happy with the outcome of our spectrum purchases in the auction. This enables us to provide our customers broadband services across India with multi-band high capacity capability in our strong circles.”
Vodafone India has 17 circles with 4G capability, covering 90 per cent of the company’s total revenues and 94 per cent of mobile data revenues. Vodafone India has the largest voice and data traffic usage within the Vodafone Group and has more than 200 million customers.
As of June 30, 2016, Vodafone India had 69.7 million data users, of which 32.3 million use 3G/4G services.
Last year, the company had acquired 78.4 MHz of spectrum in 12 telecom circles in the 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands, in circles such as Gujarat, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (East), Assam, and Karnataka, among others.
The auction – which is touted as the largest sale of mobile airwaves – ended in a whimper yesterday, with just Rs 65,789 crore of bids coming in over five days against an expectation of Rs 5.6 lakh crore, leaving nearly 60 per cent of airwaves, including premium 4G bands, unsold.