Airtel signs Rs.3,500 crore spectrum deal with Aircel
Airtel announced a Rs.3,500 crore deal to acquire 20 MHz of Aircel's 4G spectrum in 8 circles of West Bengal, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Assam and the North East. The acquisition, valid upto September 2030, makes Airtel a pan-India 4G operator. The deal comes right before the roll-out of Reliance's Jio 4G service which is scheduled for launch later this month.
What is spectrum trading?
Spectrum trading is the ability to trade the rights and obligations in radio spectrum which is used for a variety of communication needs from mobile telecommunication to broadcasting to emergency services.
Reliance acquires Infotel Broadband Services
Reliance Industries Ltd. acquired a 95% stake in Infotel Broadband Services for Rs.4,800 crore, hours after Infotel won a spectrum auction. Although unlisted, Infotel Broadband Services became the only broadband firm to win broadband spectrum in all 22 circles in India in an auction which ended on 11th June, 2010. Infotel paid Rs.12,848 crore for the spectrum, a cost which Reliance agreed to reimburse.
The birth of Reliance Jio
Immediately after the acquisition of Infotel Broadband Services, Reliance announced plans to invest $1 billion in the same. In 2013, Infotel Broadband Services was renamed to Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited. Using Infotel's spectrum, Reliance Jio planned to launch pan-India 4G services by the end of 2015. However, the launch got delayed and Reliance announced that its services would be launched in 2016.
Airtel acquires Qualcomm's 4G company
Airtel acquired a 100% stake in Wireless Business Services (WBSPL), a company founded by Qualcomm, for an undisclosed amount. WBSPL had acquired 4 circles of 4G spectrum for Rs.4,912 crore in the auction that took place in 2010. Airtel itself had acquired 4 circles of 4G spectrum for Rs.3,314 crore in 2010, and its acquistion of WBSPL took its 4G footprint to 8 circles.
Airtel announces Rs.4,428 crore spectrum deal with Videocon
Bharti Airtel announced a Rs.4,428 crore deal to acquire part of Videocon Telecommunications' spectrum in 6 circles, taking its 4G footprint to 14 circles. Airtel announced that it would acquire Videocon's spectrum in Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh Uttar Pradesh (East) and Uttar Pradesh (West). The deal was announced hours after Idea Cellular terminated its Rs.3,310 crore spectrum deal with Videocon.