Anything that the Ambanis or the Adanis do makes news. Even more so, when they do not do anything or worse still, just leave it to our fertile imaginations. So, when the Adani Group said it would bid for 5G spectrum as part of plans to offer private captive network solutions, the stock markets went into a tizzy.
Airtel shares lost 5% and Reliance didn’t flutter much though it may definitely have caused one for those who swear by India’s biggest retail and telecom giant. Anyways, media houses went to town about how the battle for the 5G airwaves got tougher with cash-strapped Vodafone Idea possibly even edging itself out of the race.
Adani will queer the pitch, they said
The reports said Adani had the capacity to queer the pitch for Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel for 5G airwaves in the 3.3-3.67 GHz band as well as the cheaper 26 GHz layer. There was even some speculation that things could get tough for these two as Adani was keen to offer private captive networks as a service, one on which telcos are reportedly betting big.
Market research had predicted that as much as two-fifths of overall 5G revenues could come from enterprise business and this is what Adani was seeking to get his fingers into. What the doomsday predictors felt is that the cash-rich Adani Group will buy up 5G and then divide it out in the form of offerings including private network as a service.
The reality is elsewhere though
However, it looks like the Adani Group has other ideas. The company shared a statement via its Twitter handle that they were actually not (NOT) interested in telecom services. However, they would go after 5G spectrum, but only to provide it as a private network for its other businesses such as airports and ports etc.
“We have received a lot of inquiries about our interest in the 5G space. Our intention is not to be in the consumer mobility space,” the statement said. “We are participating in the 5G auctions to provide private network solutions along with enhanced cybersecurity at the airports, ports and logistics, power generation, transmission, distribution and other manufacturing operations.”
In addition, the Adani Group also said that if they received the 5G spectrum, it would be used for their efforts in the Adani Foundation’s efforts in education, healthcare, and skill development – all of which would operate in rural areas.
And finally, the Adani Group also said they would be developing their own digital platform encompassing super apps, edge data centers and industry command and control centers. For this purpose, the company would require ultra-high quality data streaming capabilities through a high-frequency and low-latency 5G network across all their businesses.
Of course, the fact remains that one additional bidder would be great news for the spectrum sellers (the Government of India) and possibly a bit of a dampener for other bidders, but the fact is that you and I won’t be holding a smartphone with an Adani SIM within in the near future. So, let’s just not worry too much for now.