Bharti Airtel may not bid for spectrum in 700 Mhz band: Fitch
Rating agency Fitch today said that telecom giant Airtel to may not bid for premium 700Mhz band spectrum in the upcoming auction due to its high price and limited availability of devices.
“We do not expect Bharti to bid in the upcoming auction of 700MHz in India, given the high indicative price for this spectrum, limited device availability and the company’s ownership of alternative spectrum (1800MHz/2300MHz) to roll out 4G services,” Fitch Ratings said in a statement. The government is preparing for next round of spectrum auction in July in which airwaves worth Rs 5.66 lakh crore will be put up for sale. Telecom Commission has approved a record high base price of Rs 11,485 crore per Mhz for the 700 Mhz band.
If all available radiowaves under this get sold at the Trai-suggested price, it alone will yield a whopping Rs 4 lakh crore. Fitch Ratings has “affirmed Bharti Airtel’s long term foreign currency issuer default rating and senior secured rating at BBB-“, the agency said in a statement. It also affirmed the same rating for Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV’s bonds.
This entity manages Bharti Airtel’s Africa operation. The credit rating indicates ability of a company to pay back debt. While AAA ratings denotes highest credit quality, BBB is granted for good credit quality indicating that expectations of default risk are currently low.
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