Adani’s spectrum plans fit neatly into its jigsaw2 min read 11 Jul 2022, 10:20 PM IST
While the group says it wants a captive network that won’t offer consumers telecom services, its data and size ambitions plus budding rivalry with Reliance have stirred up quite a buzz
The Adani group moves in ways that are both obvious and mysterious. The latest to pique curiosity was its declaration of intent last week to participate in 5G spectrum auctions for “private network solutions" and “enhanced cyber security" across operations that span logistics, seaports, airports, power generation, its delivery and also manufacturing. In a statement, Gautam Adani’s conglomerate spoke of its need for telecom airwaves suited not just for industrial command-and-control, but also its digital ambitions. These include a platform for ‘super apps’ and a big data centre venture, for which it has an alliance with EdgeConneX Inc. By way of policy, the Indian government has said that private companies would soon be given access to bits of bandwidth for captive networks. But firms keen on these were expected to apply for direct allotments and not bid for large chunks alongside telecom players. While Adani has said it has no consumer-facing telecom plans, the big-ticket bidding it’s clearly preparing for has stoked speculation over whether that might only be its current stance.