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Airtel strategically buys 5G spectrum to enable the ultimate 5G experience

With the widest mobile broadband footprint in the country, Airtel is well positioned to usher in the 5G revolution in India.Premium
With the widest mobile broadband footprint in the country, Airtel is well positioned to usher in the 5G revolution in India.

Airtel, India’s leading telecommunications provider, which has acquired 19,800 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz frequency bands in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecom, Government of India

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Brace yourself for India’s 5G revolution, which is set to be steered by Airtel, India’s leading telecommunications provider. The telecom company recently acquired 19,800 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz frequency bands in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecom, Government of India.  

With the move, Airtel has secured a pan India footprint of 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands. This massive spectrum bank was amassed at a cost of 43,084 crore and gives the telco spectrum rights for the next 20 years. 

“Airtel is delighted with the results of the 5G auction. 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. This will allow us to raise the bar on innovation and address the emerging needs of every discerning customer who demands the best experience in India," said Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Airtel. 

Airtel in the lead 

The latest acquisition strapped onto the company’s existing pool, which is already an industry best, means that Airtel will not need to spend any additional sum on spectrum for many years. This spectrum acquisition has also enabled Airtel to drastically reduce the payout towards Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) and significantly reduce SUC arbitrage compared to new entrants. 

With the widest mobile broadband footprint in the country, Airtel is well positioned to usher in the 5G revolution in India. Its strategy towards spectrum acquisition has been smart and deliberate over the years, and today, it has the largest pool of low and mid band spectrum (Sub GHz/ 1800/ 2100/ 2300 bands) which can provide the best 5G coverage. Meanwhile, massive capacities in the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands will allow the telco to create 100X capacities at lower costs.  

This well thought out strategy for spectrum acquisition through auctions, M&A and trading has allowed Airtel to avoid the need for adding an expensive sub GHz band. This enables Airtel to meet all its objectives – offer the best 5G experience, 100 X capacity enhancement and the most power-efficient solutions that will go towards meeting the ambitious ESG goals of the company. More importantly, it will provide Airtel an enduring competitive advantage for years to come in delivering the lowest total cost of ownership.

Airtel 5G coming to customers and what that means 

Airtel aims to launch 5G services in every part of the country, starting with key cities where the brand has a strong presence. The telecom giant has already stated that it will launch its 5G services this month, for which it has partnered with names like Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung to help deliver Airtel 5G across the country. 

“We are confident that we will be able to deliver the best 5G experience in India in terms of coverage, speeds and latency. This will allow us to change a lot of established paradigms for both our B2C and B2B customers. 5G technology is the revolution that can alter India’s manufacturing, services and several other sectors. We remain fully committed to the Government’s Digital India vision and will continue to do what is needed to ensure that India becomes a beacon for the world in terms of technology," said Vittal.

The 5G revolution is expected to take on quickly as most devices are already 5G ready. For the common man, this opens endless possibilities and is expected to be a complete game changer. Right from high-speed internet connectivity with low latency, cloud gaming, better connectivity in densely populated areas like stadiums and convention centres, and multiple viewing angles at sports events, 5G will redefine the way we live. In the future, we can think of drone deliveries and smart cities powered by data!

Continuing its legacy of firsts 

Airtel has already had several firsts in the 5G arena. The telecom company has showcased its 5G readiness on numerous occasions in the past few years. It was the first telecom company in the country to successfully conduct a 5G trial in 2018. The company also conducted India’s first rural 5G trial on the outskirts of Delhi, and the first 5G trial on the 700 MHz band in Kolkata last year.

A few weeks ago, Airtel set up the country’s first private 5G network at a BOSCH facility. The company also launched India’s first 5G connected ambulance in partnership with Apollo Hospital. Last year, the telco hosted India’s first cloud gaming demonstrated on an Airtel 5G test network. Earlier this year, it showcased the country’s first live 5G-powered live hologram of iconic cricketer – Kapil Dev at the 175* Replayed event. 

These are just glimpses of what the capabilities of 5G. With its commercial availability, you can be sure that the technology will enable more than we could ever dream of! 

Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of the brand by HT Brand Studio.

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