Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd's internet arm Infotel today paid up the Rs12,847.77 crore it bid for pan-India broadband wireless access or Wi-Fi spectrum, according to official sources at the Department of Telecommunications. Today was the last day for making the payment.
The sources said all the companies, barring state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, have now made the payment. Besides Infotel, Bharti Airtel paid Rs3,314.36 crore, Qualcomm Rs4,912.54 crore, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd Rs4,533.97 crore and Aircel Rs3,438.01 crore. BSNL owes Rs8,313.8 crore towards spectrum fee.
There was no indication as to when BSNL would pay or whether it would be penalised in any way for late payment.
Infotel had emerged as the only pan-India winner for BWA spectrum by committing Rs12,847.77 crore in the auction that concluded on 11 June.
Within hours of the ending of the BWA auction, RIL had announced that it was acquiring Infotel for Rs4,800 crore in a deal that valued the Mahendra Nahata group internet service provider at about Rs5,000 crore. As part of the deal, RIL would infuse Rs 4,800 crore in Infotel as fresh equity capital to gain a 95 per cent stake.
The acquisition marked the Mukesh Ambani group's entry into telecom sector in less than a month after he reached a deal with younger brother Anil to end a no-compete agreement between the two. Under that agreement, telecom was strictly Anil Ambani's turf.
Moody's sees risk
Global rating agency Moody's has called RIL's acquisition of Infotel a move that may nudge up risk for the company. It saw RIL's decision to enter 4G as one that marked its entry into a promising but untested technology. Moody's, however, retained the outlook for RIL at Baa2, three notches down from the highest grade, which indicates a stable outlook.