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Adani seeks private 5G spectrum to further ‘self-reliant India’

Gautam Adani.jpg

India’s Adani Group, a transport and utility company, has admitted reports that it wants to move into 5G mobile, but says it is interested solely in private networks.

The company said on Saturday that its “intention is not to be in the consumer mobility space” when the Indian government auctions 5G spectrum.

Adani Group, headed by Gautam Adani, said in a statement that its motive was “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, a slogan of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, which means “self-reliant India”.

The company said: “We are participating in the 5G spectrum auction to provide private network solutions along with enhanced cyber security in the airport, ports and logistics, power generation, transmission, distribution, and various manufacturing operations.”

However, Adani will face opposition from licensed mobile operators, which last month set their face against private 5G networks.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the group that represents the operators, said in June it believes that giving private companies access to spectrum isn’t “justified”. There is fear amongst the operators that this could directly affect the revenues of licensed service providers, creating a non-level playing field in the country.

The Adani group, based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, has a market cap of US$193 billion, with seven publicly traded companies. It focuses on “large scale infrastructure development in India”, and says it “owes its success and leadership position to its core philosophy of ‘Nation Building’ driven by ‘Growth with Goodness’ – a guiding principle for sustainable growth”.

The company’s weekend statement added: “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 across all our businesses.”

The statement said that if it is “awarded 5G spectrum in the open bidding, it will also align with our recent announcement of significantly increasing the Adani Foundation’s investments in education, healthcare and skill development in rural areas, each of which stands to benefit from 5G technology.

The Adani Foundation says it takes “inspiration from the Gandhian philosophy of trusteeship”, and “strives to create sustainable opportunities”, adding: “It does so by facilitating quality education, enabling the youth with income-generating skills, promoting a healthy society and supporting infrastructure development.”

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