According to Bharti Airtel, it will refrain from bidding for 5G spectrum, if they happened next year as the spectrum offered at the current prices was not affordable for the company.
In this regard, Gopal Vittal, chief executive officer (CEO), Airtel, said that Airtel would not buy the airwaves at the rates suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). To this end, telco might look for some other radiowaves below 1,000 MHz frequencies to improve network inside buildings and in rural areas.
Further, Vittal also pointed out that 5G ecosystem in any case will take at least two years to come to India and the company is also evaluating whether it should bid for 1,800 MHz band, 2G spectrum, because the use of 2G services is coming down every quarter. The company has started developing 4G small cells in Bengaluru as part of open radio access network (RAN) and is exploring to do the same for 5G technology.
The operator is also awaiting clarity from the Department of Communications (DoT) on the payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.
Picture credits: The Indian Express