Unlocking value: Bharti sells 7.50 MHz spectrum in 800 band to Jio for Rs 1,497 cr

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April 7, 2021 2:00 AM

Bharti Airtel on Tuesday sold a total of 7.50 Mhz of spectrum in 800 Mhz band spanning across three circles to Reliance Jio for a total consideration of Rs 1,497 crore.

airtelBharti has sold 3.75 Mhz in Andhra Pradesh, 1.25 Mhz in Delhi, and 2.50 Mhz in Mumbai.

Bharti Airtel on Tuesday sold a total of 7.50 Mhz of spectrum in 800 Mhz band spanning across three circles to Reliance Jio for a total consideration of Rs 1,497 crore. The transfer of spectrum from Bharti to Jio has been done under the spectrum trading guidelines, which allows for such sale after either clearing all statutory government dues or fixing the responsibility for payment of deferred instalments on either of the party concerned.

The deal makes sense for both parties as the 800 Mhz spectrum sold by Bharti was unutilised and in small quantity as its 4G network in the circles are built primarily on the 900 Mhz spectrum. For Jio, buying the spectrum made sense as its 4G network is primarily built on 800 Mhz spectrum and it got contiguous spectrum in this band in the concerned circles thus strengthening its portfolio.

The 800 Mhz spectrum sold by Bharti had come to it when it acquired Tata Teleservices wireless business. Bharti has sold 3.75 Mhz in Andhra Pradesh, 1.25 Mhz in Delhi, and 2.50 Mhz in Mumbai. It will receive Rs1,037.6 crore from Jio for the proposed transfer and besides, Jio will assume future liabilities of Rs 459 crore relating to the spectrum. This is the first spectrum trading deal between the top two mobile operators of the country.

Jio said with this trading of right to use spectrum, it will have 2X15 MHz of spectrum in the 800 MHz band in Mumbai circle and 2X10 MHz of spectrum in the 800 MHz band in Andhra Pradesh and Delhi circles, thereby further consolidating its spectrum footprint in these circles. The agreement is subject to statutory approvals.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “The sale of the 800 MHz blocks in these three circles has enabled us to unlock value from the spectrum that was unutilised. This is aligned to our overall network strategy”.

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