As per industry sources, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has accepted a petition from telecom operators seeking a truncated tenure for bank guarantees with a validity of one year instead of the mandated three.

As per the telcos, the lenders are reluctant to provide fresh backing for a longer period.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are believed to be in talks with State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank and Axis Bank for issuance of fresh guarantees ahead of spectrum auctions, expected to begin from March 01, 2021.

The telcos need to provide bank guarantees to back their earnest money deposits (EMD) to bid in the auctions and to cover for their annual instalment amounts towards the airwaves they buy in the sale.