Airtel want’s to expand and strengthen its 4G footprint in more telecom circles and to be in the top realm when other operators especially Reliance Jio comes into play.
The Telecom Ministry has approved a Rs 3,500 crore worth 4G spectrum deal between telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Aircel. With this deal, Airtel has acquired rights to use 4G spectrum of Aircel in eight telecom circles.
These telecom circles include Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Assam, the North-East, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Under this Airtel was asked to surrender 1.2 Mhz spectrum in Odisha telecom circle for approval, as it breached the spectrum cap limit of 25 percent (after taking into account Aircel’s spectrum).
As per the spectrum trading rule, in a telecom circle, no telecom operator can hold more than 25 percent of the total spectrum allocated in that particular service area. Airtel has thus surrendered its 1.2 Mhz spectrum in 1800 Mhz before the deal was cleared by Department of Telecom (DoT).
Airtel has earlier acquired Videocon Telecom’s spectrum in six telecom circles in a Rs 4,428 crore worth deal. These telecom circles include Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh (East) and Uttar Pradesh (West). The company currently offers 4G LTE services using the 1800 MHz and 2300 Mhz bands in over 350 cities in India.