Adani Group confirms its entry into race to acquire 5G spectrum; denies entry into telecom
“Our intention is not to be in the consumer mobility. As India prepares to roll out 5G services, we are one of the many applicants participating in the open bidding process,” said a spokesperson.
In a surprising move, billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Group on Saturday confirmed its entry into the race to acquire the 5G spectrum. The company, however, denied that it will not be in a consumer mobility space. It said will participate in the 5G spectrum auction to own a private networkAdani will pit against Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio and telecom czar Sunil Bharti Mittal’s Airtel. Telecom experts believe the entry of Adani Group in the auction, which is scheduled to take place on July 26, will intensify competition and bidding intensity of telcos as now there will be 3 players in the fray with deep pockets.
“Our intention is not to be in the consumer mobility space. As India prepares to roll out next-generation 5G services through this auction, we are one of the many applicants participating in the open bidding process,” said a spokesperson of Adani Group. Adani Group; which has the business of operating airports and ports, generating and distributing electricity, and coal and gas; said its purpose to participate in the auction is to provide private network solutions along with enhanced cyber security in the airport, ports and logistics, power generation, transmission, distribution, and various manufacturing operations.
Spectrum award to the firm will align with its recent announcement of raising Adani Foundation’s investments in education, healthcare and skill development in rural areas, each of which stands to benefit from 5G technology, the firm said. “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,” a company statement said.
Experts say the telecom industry might see more disruptions with the surprise entry of Adani in the 5G spectrum auction. “Main factor to decide the future of the telecom landscape would be the type of licence Adani acquires -- whether it goes all out with a unified licence or is restricted to private networks. For now, the private 5G network is expected to be the main driver, considering multiple ports owned by the group,” said Charu Paliwal, research analyst, Counterpoint Research. Prashanth Tapse, vice-president (research), Mehta Equities, said, “It would be difficult to comment on the unexpected big entry, which would lead to a more competitive environment. We should wait and watch this development closely.”