Telecom operators Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea on Monday said that with their latest purchase of spectrum, they are well-prepared to launch 5G services within the government’s desired time-frame. They also said that by filling the gaps in their existing spectrum holding, existing services will improve further.
Jio, which emerged as the highest purchaser in the spectrum auction, said it acquired spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands, which will enable it “to build the world’s most advanced 5G network”.
“Launched just six years ago, Jio has created multiple world records during its rollout of the largest 4G network in the shortest period of time. Jio’s 4G network provides the highest quality, most affordable digital services to over 400 million loyal and delighted customers. Jio will now raise the bar even further with its 5G services,” it said.
Akash M Ambani, chairman, Reliance Jio Infocomm, said the speed, scale and societal impact of Jio’s 4G rollout are unmatched anywhere in the world. “Now, with a bigger ambition and stronger resolve, Jio is set to lead India’s march into the 5G era.”
On its part, Bharti Airtel said it has acquired 19,867.8 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz frequency bands for Rs 43,084 cr. “The acquisition of this vast amount of spectrum strapped on to 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,” it said. The firm said it has now the widest mobile broadband footprint across the country, making it well-positioned to usher in the 5G revolution in India.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said, “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.”
“We are confident that we will be able to deliver the best 5G experience in India in terms of coverage, speeds and latency,” he said.
In a statement, Vodafone Idea said it participated in the spectrum auction to strengthen its pan-India 4G footprint and embark on a 5G rollout journey.
“We have successfully acquired mid band 5G spectrum (3300 MHz band) in our 17 priority circles and mm Wave 5G spectrum (26 GHz band) in 16 circles, which will enable us to offer a superior 5G experience to our customers as well as strengthen our enterprise offerings and provide new opportunities for business growth in the emerging 5G era.”
The additional 4G spectrum acquisition in three circles of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab will further improve the customer experience, it said. “We believe that the spectrum acquisition will enable us to strengthen our position in our key markets and it aligns well with our long-term strategic intent. With this, we now have a solid portfolio of spectrum across all bands in all our priority circles.”