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Bharti Airtel enters agreement with Tikona to acquire its 4G services

The acquisition will be subject to the requisite regulatory approvals, Bharti Airtel said in a statement

India TV Business Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: March 23, 2017 18:04 IST ]
The acquisition of Tikona will be subject to regulatory
Image Source : PTI The acquisition of Tikona will be subject to regulatory approvals, Airtel said

In indications that the telecom sector in India is set for consolidation, India’s top telecom operator in terms of user base, Bharti Airtel, has signed a definitive agreement with Tikona Digital Networks to acquire its 4G business, including the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum and 350 sites in five telecom circles.

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, comes close on the heels of the mega merger between Idea and Vodafone India to create a behemoth that would take on competition. As per the agreement,  deal will see Bharti Airtel acquire the 4G business in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Himachal Pradesh while Airtel’s subsidiary Bharti Hexacom Limited will undertake the exercise in the Rajasthan circle.

Post-acquisition, the combined spectrum holding of Airtel in these five circles will be within the spectrum caps prescribed by the government.

“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,” Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said.

The financial details of the transaction were not immediately disclosed.

Tikona currently has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles. Airtel plans to roll-out high speed 4G services on the newly-acquired spectrum in the five circles immediately after the closure of the transaction.

​The proposed acquisition will enable Airtel to fill BWA spectrum gaps in the 2300 MHz band in Rajasthan, UP (East) and UP (West), thereby securing a pan India footprint in the band. The deal will significantly bolster Airtel’s spectrum position in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, taking its overall BWA spectrum holding to 30 MHz each in these circles.

Post completion of the deal, Airtel will have 30 MHz in the 2300 MHz band in 13 circles giving it tremendous advantage to handle the surging data demand.

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