With India’s major telecom companies brawling over the ‘Fastest Mobile Network’ in the country, Bharti Airtel Ltd, the global telecommunication service provider has entered a ‘spectrum sale deal’ to counter Reliance 4G network. The company in a press statement announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Tikona Digital Networks (“Tikona”) to acquire Tikona’s 4G Business including the Broadband Wireless Access (“BWA”) spectrum and 350 sites, in five telecom circles for Rs. 1,600 crores.
Tikona, a Mumbai-based Internet provider currently has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles.
As per the agreement, the acquisition of the 4G business in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Himachal Pradesh will be undertaken by Airtel, while in the Rajasthan circle, it will be accomplished through Airtel’s subsidiary Bharti Hexacom Limited.
Post-acquisition, the combined spectrum holding of Airtel in these five circles will be within the spectrum caps prescribed by the Government. The company said that the deal with the Class ‘A’ internet Digital networks will bolster Airtel’s spectrum position in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, taking its overall BWA spectrum holding to 30 MHz each in these circles.
With this acquisition, Bharti Airtel will have spectrum in 2300 MHz band across all circles. The company said that it plans to roll-out high speed 4G services on the newly acquired spectrum in the five circles immediately after the closure of transaction.
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel, on the context said, “Airtel’s continued focus on strengthening its 4G capabilities across multiple spectrum bands will be complemented with the BWA spectrum acquisition from Tikona. We believe that combining our capacities in TD-LTE and FD-LTE will further bolster our network, and help us provide unmatched high-speed wireless broadband experience to our customers. We remain committed to our vision of leading India’s digital revolution by offering world-class and affordable telecom services through a robust spectrum portfolio spread across multiple bands.”
In a separate report, that surfaced today, the global leading telecommunication company is reportedly said to have received a legal notice from Tikona Digital Networks. According to a report from Business Standards, the broadband wireless firm’s co-founder and minority shareholder, Rajesh Tiwari, has served a legal notice on the Sunil Mittal-led telco, asking it not to finalise the deal. Tikona had sought shareholder approval for selling its spectrum to Bharti Airtel, but a minority shareholder, with a 2.5 per cent stake in the Tikona Trust, may come in the way, the report cited.
However, when both the companies were questioned on the matter, they declined to share any comments.