Gautam Adani has thrown his hat in the 5G race, taking on Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Jio), Sunil Mittal (Airtel) and Kumar Mangalam Birla (Vodafone). Interestingly, the group also says this would count towards its ₹60,000 crore charity pledge. Adani’s entry now makes it a four-cornered contest, with telecom giants Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea having submitted their bid for 5G spectrum earlier.
“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,” the company said in a statement, Friday.
The auction includes the sale of airwaves in various bands, including the crucial 5G airwaves in 3.5 GHz. According to the company statement, access to the spectrum will help Adani Group build digital platforms and strengthen its data centre capabilities.
The company, however, added that it is not interested in the consumer mobile space. “India is a price sensitive market, so the revenue which is going to come to anybody who provides 5G, is from new segments opening up. These will include machine to machine enterprise communications,” thinks COAI director general Dr S.P. Kochhar.
“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 access across all our businesses,” the brief notified.
It added: “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.” Essentially, this covers the Adani group’s diversified business empire spread across all those industries.
Alongside, the statement by the Adani group says that winning the 5G spectrum, will proactively enable Adani Foundation’s ₹60,000 crore pledge towards charity – this includes education, healthcare and rural development in rural areas.
However, it is not clear how the Adani group suggests this would also count towards its ₹60,000 crore charity pledge – unless the group is counting a portion of its 5G spectrum spends or proceeds from it, being used for CSR activities as well.