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Bharti Airtel Ltd will raise up to 7,500 crore through debt instruments such as debentures and bonds in one or more tranches, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The fundraising has been announced as the telecom sector prepares for the upcoming spectrum auction in March and the rollout of 5G wireless service later this year.

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“The board reviewed the company's routine financing/re-financing strategies including any market maturities in due course, and approved raising of funds as and when deemed appropriate, vide issuance of secured/unsecured, listed/unlisted non-convertible debt securities including debentures, bonds etc.," the company said.

The fundraising is subject to all regulatory approvals.

The board also authorised the special committee of directors to decide, based on the current market conditions, on all matters relating to the issuance of securities for fundraising.

Airtel on 28 January had announced that it is India’s first telecom operator to conduct live 5G demonstration, calling its network ready for the next-generation wireless service and beating Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, which is yet to hold trials on a commercial network.

However, Airtel chief executive Gopal Vittal said 5G’s high-speed and low latency technology can be experienced only when spectrum bands, recommended by the telecom regulator for the service, are made available by the government. Reliance Jio also has a similar view.

The department of telecommunications will conduct spectrum auction in March after over four years. It has not included spectrum in the 3,300-3,600MHz bands, as advised by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), in the upcoming auction.

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