Could Adani Group become the latest internet service provider in India?
Billionaire Gautam Adani's conglomerate could soon start providing internet services as Adani Data Networks, a group company, has been given a unified licence by the Department of Telecommunications in the six telecom circles of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Mumbai.
The company was earlier issued the letter of intent for a unified licence. Now, it is eligible to carry long-distance calls on its network and offer internet services.
How did this happen?
The licence comes after the Adani Group acquired 5G spectrum as part of the recent auctions under which telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio had also bought airwaves to offer 5G services across the country.
So, is Adani looking to become a retail telecom player?
Officially, at least, the conglomerate has said that it has no plans of offering retail telecom services and will use the spectrum to move data within its own private network for its own captive use.
“We are participating in the 5G spectrum auction to provide private network solutions along with enhanced cyber security in the airport, ports & logistics, power generation, transmission, distribution, and various manufacturing operations,” the company had said.
Having said that, some industry experts believe that even if the company changes its plans going forward, no one can stop it from offering consumer internet services.
But what does the licence make the Adani Group eligible for?
After getting the licence it is eligible to carry long-distance calls on its network and offer internet services.
The licence would also help the company with its data centre business where data needs to be transferred within the country as well as outside.
In the absence of such a licence, Adani Group would have had to use the services of telecom operators to transfer data for which it has to pay carriage charges.
Could this licence help the Adani Group generate additional revenue?
Yes. The long-distance licence would open a revenue stream for Adani Group because it can carry data as well as voice traffic for telcos as well as other enterprises.
How much spectrum has the Adani Group acquired?
In the 5G spectrum auctions, Adani Data bought a 400 MHz spectrum in the 26 GHz band for Rs 212 crore. The company has 100 MHz of 5G spectrum each in Gujarat and Mumbai and 50 MHz each in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
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