“The sale of the 800 MHz blocks in these three circles has enabled us to unlock value from spectrum that was unutilised. This is aligned to our overall network strategy,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel, in a prepared statement.
An exact timeline on when consumers will receive the benefits of the latest deal is yet to be revealed. Jio said that the trading agreement was in accordance with the Spectrum Trading Guidelines issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and is subject to regulatory and statutory approvals.
The 800MHz spectrum, which was initially used for the rollout of wireline services, has been considered by telecom operators for 4G LTE networks across India. However, operators including Airtel and Vi in the recent times had shifted their focus towards newer bands.
Last month, Jio, Airtel, and Vi participated in the spectrum auction and bid for the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, and 2300MHz bands. The Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology also put 700MHz and 2500MHz bands for bidding during the last spectrum auction round. Neither of these was picked by any of the four participants.