State-owned Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has reportedly requested an extension on the deadline for it to pay the fees it owes for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum. According to the Economic Times, with the deadline having passed for payments on 22 June Kuldeep Goyal, BSNL chairman and managing director, said: ‘We have asked for a few more days to pay the broadband spectrum fee, as we are in the process of arranging funds. Although we have the required funds, these funds are not liquid at the moment and are all tied up.’ BSNL needs to find INR83.14 billion (USD1.79 billion) in total for the BWA spectrum it has been allocated.
All of the private operators that successfully bid for BWA spectrum in the auction process that concluded earlier this month are understood to have made their respective payments, while fellow state-owned operator Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has also paid for its allotted frequencies. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, BSNL and MTNL were both handed 20MHz blocks of WiMAX spectrum in the 2.5GHz band for each of their respective circles of operation, with the duo informed that they would be required to match the highest bids from private operators when auctions for similar spectrum finally took place.