Bharti Airtel on Friday said it will pay Rs.3,500 crore to acquire 4G spectrum in eight telecom circles from Aircel. With this acquisition, which comes close on the heels of its Rs. 4,428 crore spectrum deal with Videocon, Bharti Airtel will become a pan-India 4G operator.
Airtel will acquire the rights to use 20 Mhz in 2,300 band spectrum in Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Assam, the North-East, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha telecom circles.
The move comes ahead of the big ticket launch of 4G services expected from Reliance Jio, which is expected to intensify competition in the space.
“Bharti Airtel and its subsidiary Bharti Hexacom have entered into definitive agreements with Aircel Ltd and its subsidiaries Dishnet Wireless Ltd and Aircel Cellular Ltd to acquire rights to use 20 MHz of 2,300 Mhz band 4G spectrum for eight circles for an aggregate consideration of Rs. 3500 crore,” according to the company’s communiqué to the stock exchange.
Aircel’s 4G airwaves in the 2,300 Mhz band are valid till September 20, 2030. “The transfer of the right to use for the circles of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa is subject to the revision of spectrum caps with the upcoming auction to be conducted by department of telecommunication.”