Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said it has paid Rs 8,312.4 crore to the Department of Telecom (DoT) towards dues for spectrum acquired in the recently concluded 5G auctions. Airtel said it has paid four years of 2022 5G spectrum dues upfront.
“This upfront payment of 4 years allows us to drive 5G rollout in a concerted manner given our operating free cash flow,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, Bharti Airtel.
Airtel also has access to Rs 15,740.5 crore in capital from the rights issue which is yet to be called.
“With the ideal spectrum bank, best technology and adequate free cash flow, we are excited to bring to the country a world class 5G experience,” Vittal added.
Over the last one year, Airtel has also cleared Rs 24,333.7 crore of its deferred spectrum liabilities much ahead of scheduled maturities.
According to the company, the upfront payment, coupled with the moratorium on spectrum dues and AGR-related payments for four years, will free up future cash flows and allow Airtel to dedicate resources to single-mindedly concentrate on the 5G roll out.
The Indian government sold 5G spectrum worth over Red 1.50 lakh crore, led by Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea and a unit of Adani Group.