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Adanis in the fray for 5G spectrum

MUMBAI: It’s official: The Adani Group is in the fray for India’s first 5G spectrum auction. The Ahmedabad-based enterprise on Saturday confirmed its participation, which pits it against Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, Sunil Bharti Mittal’s Airtel and Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Vodafone Idea in the telecom sector.
However, the Adani Group has clarified it has no interest in the consumer mobility space and is in the 5G airwaves sale race only to cater to its in-house businesses.
While Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea’s participation in the 5G spectrum auction was expected, Adani throwing its hat in the race has taken the industry by surprise. July 8 was the last date to submit applications for the auction.
“We are participating in the 5G spectrum auction to provide private network solutions along with enhanced cyber security for airports, ports & logistics, power generation, transmission, distribution, and other manufacturing operations,” stated the Adani Group.
It added that access to the 5G spectrum will help the group build digital platforms and data centre capabilities. “In addition, as we build our own digital platform encompassing super apps, edge data centres, and industry command and control centres, we will need ultra-high quality data streaming capabilities through a high frequency and low latency 5G network across all our businesses.”
The company said if it is awarded the 5G spectrum, “it will also align with its recent announcement of significantly increasing Adani Foundation’s investments in education, healthcare and skill development in rural areas”. Last month, the Ahmedabad-based group said its promoters, including chairman Gautam Adani, have committed to donate Rs 60,000 crore ($7.7 billion) to social causes. The corpus will be administered by Adani Foundation.
The pre-qualification of 5G spectrum bidders is listed on July 18 and mock auctions on July 22 and 23. According to India’s telecom rules, new entities can participate in the auction provided they obtain a unified licence for offering mobile/data services in the country. The group recently obtained National Long Distance (NLD) and International Long Distance (ILD) licences.



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