The Indian telco paid $526 million for the LTE airwaves
Indian mobile telephony operator Bharti Airtel reached a deal to acquire spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band from rival telco Aircel, local press reported.
With this acquisition, Bharti Airtel will have a pan-Indian presence in the 4G LTE segment. The telco will be able to launch LTE services in Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Assam, the Northeast, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
According to the reports, the transfer of the rights to the spectrum in two of the circles – Andhra Pradesh and Orissa – is subject to the revision of spectrum caps.
The operator said that it will pay a total of 35 billion rupees ($526 million) for 20 megahertz of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band. This spectrum will allow Bharti Airtel to expand LTE services to eight new telecoms circles across the Asian nation.
Bharti Airtel also said that the spectrum will be valid until 2030.
The telco recently acquired spectrum from Videocon Telecommunication to expand services in six regions.
Bharti Airtel had 245.8 million mobile subscribers at the end of January, according to the latest figures from the country’s telecoms regulator TRAI. This figure represents a market share of approximately 24%
Telenor upgrades network to launch LTE services
Also in India, local telecoms operator Telenor India is currently working to upgrade its mobile network in order to launch LTE services, local press reported.
The telco, part of Nordic telecoms group Telenor, has already upgraded 7,000 base stations to LTE technology.
Telenor India plans to upgrade its entire network by the end of current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2017. Chinese vendor Huawei had obtained a contract to upgrade Telenor India’s 25,000 base stations across six circles.
However, Telenor may be considering to exit the Asian nation, according to a report by local paper The Economic Times. According to the report, the European telecoms group is seeking a valuation of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion for its Indian operation.