Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries’ telecom arm Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. has prepaid Rs 30,791 crore, including accrued interest, to the Department of Telecom (DoT) to clear deferred spectrum liabilities, Jio said on Tuesday. The liabilities pertained to spectrum acquired by the company in 2014, 2015, 2016 auctions, and the spectrum acquired in 2021 through trading of right to use with Bharti Airtel Ltd. The telco had acquired 585.3 MHz spectrum in these auctions, trading.
“RJIL had executed the first tranche of prepayment on the anniversary date in the month of October 2021 pertaining to spectrum acquired in auction in the year 2016. Subsequent to Department of Telecom’s decision in the month of December 2021 providing the telcos the flexibility to prepay their deferred spectrum liabilities on any date, RJIL has now prepaid in the month of January 2022, the entire deferred liabilities acquired in auction in the year 2014 and 2015 as well as spectrum acquired through trading,” Reliance Jio said in a release on Wednesday.
According to the company statement, these liabilities were due in annual instalments from FY 2022-23 to 2034-2035 and carried interest rate between 9.30% to 10% p.a. with an average residual period of over seven years. Jio estimates that the prepayments will result in interest cost savings of around Rs 1,200 crores annually, at the current interest rates. In December last year, DoT had provided telecom players the flexibility to prepay deferred spectrum liabilities. With this over Rs 30,000 crore payout, Reliance Jio has now prepaid the entire deferred liabilities for spectrum acquired in 2014-2015 through auction and trading.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio on Tuesday reported steady wireless customer gains in the month of November. Jio added 2.01 million wireless customers in November last year, taking its gross mobile user base to 428.61 million, according to the latest subscriber data issued by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).