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Airtel acquires 355.45 MHz spectrum for Rs 18,699 cr

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Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said that it has acquired 355.45 MHz spectrum across Sub GHz, mid band and 2m300 MHz bands for a total consideration of Rs 18,699 crore in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

A company statement said the the acquisition give Airtel the most formidable spectrum holdings in the country.

“Airtel has now secured pan-India footprint of Sub GHz spectrum that will help improve its deep indoor and in building coverage in every urban town,” it said.

In addition, this spectrum will also help improve its coverage in villages by offering the superior Airtel experience to an additional 90 million customers in India, it added.

Through this auction, Airtel has also strengthened its mid band and capacity spectrum holdings that will help it provide an exceptional customer experience at marginal capex. All the spectrum will enable Airtel to deliver 5G services in future.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said: “Airtel now has a solid spectrum portfolio that will enable it to continue delivering the best mobile broadband experience in India. We are most excited at bringing the power of Airtel services to an additional 90 million customers in India through the power of our Pan India Sub GHz footprint.”

The company added that despite the large amount of spectrum made available, the 700 MHz band did not get any bid from the operators as it made no economic case for them based on the high reserve prices.

The 700 MHz band coupled with the 3.5 GHz band has the potential to accelerate India’s progress to the top league of digitally enabled nations. Therefore, the reserve pricing of these bands must be addressed on priority in future.

This will help the nation to benefit from the digital dividend that will inevitably arise out of this, the telco said.

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SpiceJet plane lands in Mumbai with cracked outer windshield

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A SpiceJet flight landed safely in Mumbai with its outer windshield of the cockpit cracked, an airline spokesperson said on Monday.

The incident took place on SpiceJet flight SG-3324 operating from Kandla (Gujarat) to Mumbai by a turboprop Q400 aircraft.

At around 23,000 feet height, the outer pane of the windshield on the co-pilot’s side cracked but the cabin pressurisation was observed to be normal.

The flight landed safely at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport later, said the spokesperson, but the cause of the accident – the second on Monday for the low-cost carrier – is not clear yet.

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Nepal’s economy not like Sri Lanka’s, but can go that way: Former central bank Guv

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Dipendra Bahadur Chhetri, the former Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), has said that the situation of Nepal’s economy is not like that of Sri Lanka.

However, if the political rights are given to the wrong persons like in Sri Lanka, there is a possibility of Nepal becoming the next Sri Lanka, he said, Republica reported.

Speaking at an interaction programme on the current economic situation in Nepal held in Kathmandu, Chhetri said the present situation in Sri Lanka is due to arbitrary tax rates imposed by the same family as the president, prime minister and finance minister.

He also mentioned that Nepal should not be associated with Sri Lanka as it has just held local elections and is now preparing to hold federal and provincial elections, Republica reported.

Similarly, the former central bank Governor said that Nepal’s foreign exchange reserves, SDRs and gold in foreign currency accounted for seven months of imports to meet the growing imports and consumption of petroleum products.

Likewise, he doubted that the forthcoming monetary policy to be introduced by the NRB would be as extensive as in the past. He said that the loans given by the banks to expand the capacity of the industry were used for import.

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Turkey increases minimum wage amid soaring inflation, currency volatility

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the country’s minimum wage would be hiked up in the face of soaring inflation and volatile currency rates.

“The minimum wage will be 5,500 Turkish liras ($328) with an interim increase of 30 percent, effective immediately starting on July 1,” Erdogan said.

At the beginning of this year, the government increased the monthly minimum wage by 50 per cent to alleviate the financial burden on workers, reports Xinhua news agency.

Turkey has long been struggling against ever-increasing inflation.

In June, the total losses of the Turkish lira against the US dollar amounted to almost 100 per cent in one year.

Erdogan has long been focusing on a low-interest policy to increase exports and production for a stabilised lira, asking for patience from his voters.

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