Bharti Airtel has stated that it will not buy 700 MHz spectrum in the next 5G spectrum auction but will target small sizes in markets where its airwave holdings are expiring in 2024. Airtel’s spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands will expire in eight markets in 2024, including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Northeast, and Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the telco, it will refarm its mid-band airwaves (1800-2100 MHz) once 25-30 per cent smart devices in circulation become 5G-enabled from around 10-20 per cent now.
Besides, Airtel reiterated that tariffs needed to rise for average revenue per user (ARPU) growth. The company said that it is hopeful of reaching the aspirational ARPU target of Rs 300 soon since it is focused on monetisation of data plans with consumers buying more data packs and moving to higher usage data plans.