Airtel Will Spend Rs 1.17 Lakh Crore In Next 4 Years For Building Infrastructure
India’s second largest telecom company, Bharti Airtel has planned to spend 1.17 lakh crore in capex and related expenses over the course of next 4 years. This spending will be carried out through its subsidiaries — Indus Towers, Nxtra and Bharti Hexacom.
US-based tech giant, Google has purchased 1.28% stake in the telco for about 7,500 crore. In a regulatory filing on Saturday, Airtel said that it will hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on February 26 to seek shareholder approval for the same.
The filing states that through mobile tower company Indus Towers, Airtel will spend 88,000 crore in business. To avail services of data centre, 15,000 crore will be spent with Nxtra and transactions of up to 14,000 crore with Bharti Hexacom.
Airtel said that it is likely that 5G will soon start to become a reality in India, given the 5G developments globally.
Spending Rs 1.17 Lakh Crore Over The Next 4 Years
Airtel said that keeping in mind the increased requirements of passive infrastructure during massive 5G rollouts, they have proposed a high amount of transactions of up to 20,000 crore per annum with Indus Towers for FY2025-26, and shall be spending 17,000 annually for preceding years.
Google and Airtel are exploring ways to get more Indians online and look to cooperate on 5G use cases specific to the South Asian nation besides delivering enterprise services and an investment of up to $1 billion had been announced by the tech giant.
Google & Telcos Root For Digitization Of India
Prior to Airtel, Google also funded the country’s largest telecom, Jio. Experts said that given the size of India, Google wants more people to use search services whereas telecom companies want more and more Indians to use smartphones to drive up data usage and revenue.
They added that as Airtel prepares for 5G auctions slated for mid-2022 and subsequent network rollouts, these funds can be instrumental.
$10 billion have been allocated by Google for the ‘Google for India Digitization Fund’ and out of that amount, Google will now invest $700 million (5,224.4 crore) to buy a 1.28% stake in Airtel through a preferential issue of shares at 734 a unit. Airtel plans to make smartphones more affordable to help around 350 million users of feature phones upgrade to devices that support online access. For this, the remaining $300 million will be used over the next five years for multiple commercial agreements.