Reliance Jio has increased its spectrum footprint by 55 percent to 1,717MHz, the company said in a media release after the concluded spectrum auction held of the government of India earlier today. The department of telecommunications held its latest spectrum auction for the three leading telecom operators of India earlier today – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vi (formerly Vodafone-Idea). In the latest round, Jio has acquired spectrum in all three of the 800MHz, 1,800MHz and 2,300MHz bands in India.
Alongside increasing its spectrum footprint by 55 percent, Reliance Jio has the largest spectrum holding in the sub-GHz and the 2,300MHz bands. Now, India’s youngest and largest telecom operator has the right to use spectrum in all 22 circles across the country, including a presence in the 2,300MHz band in all circles across India. The operator has stated that it has 2x10MHz contiguous spectrum in almost all of the 22 circles in India, having at least 2x10MHz spectrum in the 1,800MHz band and 40MHz in the 2,300MHz band in all circles of India.
With its latest investment in spectrum, Reliance Jio has achieved “complete spectrum derisking”. It now has 15.5 years of average life of spectrum that it owns, therefore setting up the operator to sustain top notch connectivity right now and for the future. The available spectrum for Reliance Jio can be used by the operator for upgrading its existing high quality 4G connectivity, and also for ushering in a new generation of 5G connectivity.
Jio says that its latest spectrum acquisition cost falls at Rs 60.8 crore per MHz, therefore being the most cost efficient spectrum acquisition effort in India so far. Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Jio’s parent company Reliance Industries, said after the acquisition, “We want to ensure that we keep on enhancing experiences, not only for our existing customers, but also for the next 300 million users that will move to digital services.”
The total spectrum acquisition cost for Reliance Jio stood at Rs 57,123 crore, of which Rs 19,939 crore has been paid upfront. The remaining estimated amount of Rs 37,184 crore has been set for an 18-year deferred payment period, which would include a 2-year moratorium and accrued interest at 7.3 percent per annum.