Jio, Airtel and Vi make upfront payments for spectrum bought in auctions
Operators Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have made upfront payments to the telecom department for the spectrum they acquired in the recently-held auctions, industry sources said on Thursday.
The telecom department had issued demand notes to the three operators on March 8, and the deadline for making the upfront payment was Thursday.
The sources privy to the development said that Reliance Jio has made an upfront payment of about ₹15,019 crore, while Bharti Airtel has paid around ₹6,323 crore as the immediate upfront amount.
Vodafone Idea has paid about ₹574 crore, as stipulated, they said.
There was no official word from the companies on the payments made.
The auctions held earlier this month raked-in winning bids of over ₹77,800 crore for 855.6 MHz of spectrum. Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio spent the most in the auction, picking up 488.35 MHz spectrum in bands such as 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz for over ₹57,100 crore.
Bharti Airtel won the right to use spectrum, the total value of which is about ₹18,700 crore. For Vodafone Idea, the value of spectrum bought in auctions was pegged at ₹1,993.4 crore.
As per the auction terms, successful bidders could pay the entire bid amount in one go, or exercise an option to pay a certain amount (25 per cent for spectrum won in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz bands or 50 per cent for spectrum won in 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz bands) upfront with the remaining amount in a maximum up to 16 equated annual instalments, after a moratorium of two years.
It is pertinent to mention here that there were no takers for spectrum in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands in the recent auctions.