Adani Group Will Launch Telecom Services; Will Challenge Jio, Airtel!

Spectrum can be used for various services based on the licences companies go for.

Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Idea and an Adani Group entity have put in applications to participate in the first auction of 5G airwaves starting July 26.

The auction

This is confirmation enough that the Adani group is now venturing into the hotly contested telecom space in some capacity.

A total of 72,097.85 MHz of spectrum, including the coveted 5G band needed for high-speed internet connectivity, worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore will go under the hammer.

Required licences

As per telecom regulations, the Adani entity would require a unified access service (UAS) permit from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to participate in the 5G airwaves sale.

Adani Group has reportedly already obtained National Long Distance (NLD) and International Long Distance (ILD) licences, which are required by companies to provide telecom services in the country on a large scale.

There is no official confirmation yet but that could soon happen on July 12 as the ownership details of the applicants will be made available by then.

Raising the stakes

Executives and analysts said Adani’s entry could raise competition levels in the upcoming 5G airwaves sale that till recently was expected to be low profile given the presence of just two major bidders in Jio and Bharti Airtel, with cash-strapped Vi likely to be a fringe player.

If Adani participates, there could be aggressive bidding for 5G spectrum in the C-band (3.3-3.67 Ghz) which all three strong bidders with deep pockets are likely to target.

These airwaves are particularly useful in the metros, tier-1 cities and category A circles, where 5G adoption levels would be faster.

Private captive network

Spectrum can be used for various services based on the licences companies go for.

It is possible that initially the Adani Group may use the airwaves to set up a private captive network for its data usage which is allowed by the government.

The government allows enterprises to build their captive data networks by either taking spectrum on lease from the telecom operators or giving them a turnkey contract to build the same.

Speedier business operations

Adani Group’s investment in the sector could be used for its plans of setting up enterprise data centres in Mumbai, Chennai, Noida, Vizag and Hyderabad.

If it manages to acquire a millimetre band spectrum, the group will be able to run its operations on a high-speed internet ecosystem which could put it ahead of rivals.

Commercial entry?

Aside from building a private captive network, it can also obtain a unified licence (UL) and start providing all forms of telecom services such as voice and data services to consumers.

The UL also allows it to get into the business of making private networks for other enterprises.

For a pan-India UL, companies have to pay Rs 15 crore.

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