Airtel protests spectrum delays

9 Sep 2014

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest cellco by subscribers, has criticised the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for delays in the allocation of spectrum it won in February and is seeking compensation for interest costs incurred in the interim, the Economic Times reports. The provider complained that despite paying INR55.25 billion (USD915.97 million), along with bank guarantees for a further INR25.42 billion, it has not yet received the frequencies in the 1800MHz and 900MHz bands that it won in the auction earlier this year. Airtel explained that any further delay would affect its customers in Delhi and Kolkata, claiming that the process of refarming the 900MHz band and migrating to the 1800MHz range would take six to twelve months to complete. In a missive to the DoT, Airtel wrote that without an assignment letter it would not be able to import equipment, or reconfigure and optimise its network.