Spectrum auction: Airtel buys airwaves in Vodafone Idea’s strongholds

Our Bureau | Updated on March 03, 2021

VIL invested only about ₹2,000 crore and acquired a total of 11.8Mhz across five circles

Mumbai, March 3

One of the trends emerging from the recently concluded spectrum auction is that Bharti Artel is looking to take a larger market share in areas where Vodafone Idea has been traditionally stronger.

Airtel has acquired bandwidth in the 800 Mhz band in MP, Maharashtra, UP West and Haryana, and also enhanced its 900 Mhz holdings in Kerala and Gujarat, which are some of the largest markets for VIL in revenue terms.

Also read: Spectrum auction: Telcos buy airwaves worth ₹77,815 crore

“Airtel strengthened its spectrum holdings in some of VIL’s strongholds, which we think, positions it well for further market share gains. VIL’s participation in the auction was constrained by its liquidity issues and it also has a relatively under-utilised spectrum. Large investments by competitors in some of its strong markets will likely exert further pressure on VIL, in our view,” Kunal Vora, Associate Directors at BNP Paribas said in a research report.

VIL invested only about ₹2,000 crore and acquired a total of 11.8Mhz across five circles.

“VIL anyway has a large spectrum holding, which is comparable to the now expanded portfolios of Bharti and Jio. However, VIL’s capacity has been lagging behind other operators due to limited investments in network infrastructure given their high leverage and constrained balance sheet. VIL’s positioning may possibly worsen as other operators will be able to enhance their coverage and capacity further post-acquisition of additional spectrum in the recent round,” said analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities.

Published on March 03, 2021

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