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Airtel pays DoT ₹7,904 cr in advance to settle spectrum dues



Airtel prepays ₹7,904 cr to DoT to clear spectrum dues

In a significant move, Bharti Airtel, the country’s second-largest telecom operator, has prepaid ₹7,904 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to clear high-cost deferred liabilities for spectrum acquired in 2012 and 2015. This prepayment allows the company to fully clear all deferred liabilities related to spectrum acquired in auctions of those years, which had high interest costs of 9.75% and 10%, respectively.

Earlier in January, Airtel had paid ₹8,325 crore to the DoT for the part prepayment of deferred liabilities pertaining to spectrum acquired in the 2015 auction, which also had an interest cost of 10%. In July 2023, the company had made a similar payment of ₹8,024 crore towards spectrum acquired in 2015, availing financing at a lower cost of interest. These strategic prepayments enhance the company’s financial flexibility and optimize its cost of financing, resulting in significant interest savings.

During the auctions held in March 2015, Airtel acquired spectrum worth ₹29,129.08 crore and paid ₹11,374.7 crore upfront, leaving a balance of ₹7,832.20 crore. The company’s proactive approach towards prepaying these deferred liabilities showcases its commitment to managing its capital structure efficiently. This move not only allows Airtel to leverage lower-cost financing but also ensures smoother operations and financially stability in the telecom sector.

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