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Last Updated : Apr 09, 2016 01:52 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Bharti Airtel buys Aircel's 4G spectrum rights in 8 circles

With this deal, Airtel becomes the first telecom operator to have a pan-India 4G spectrum.

Bharti Airtel on Friday acquired 4G spectrum rights from Aircel in 8 circles for Rs 3,500 crore. These circles include Tamil Nadu, Bihar, J&K, West Bengal, North East Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chennai and Assam.

By acquiring right to use 20 MHz, 2300 band 4G TD spectrum in these circles, Airtel becomes the first pan-India 4G telecom operator.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Sanjay Kapoor, Former CEO, of Airtel, says the deal is likely to make competition between Airtel and Reliance Jio tougher. While the company has already invested in 3G, hedging in 4G will definitely be superior, Kapoor adds.

However, Kapoor says this pact is proof that some of the marginal players [Aircel] are giving up their data aspirations.

Meanwhile, telecom expert Mahesh Uppal says valuation for the spectrum is dependent on the nature of the circles and not their number. 

For Airtel, a large number of circles in the deal falls in 'C' circle category and 4G spectrum don't appear to be important in the scheme of things for the short-term, he says, adding, even 3G network hasn't reached most of the circles yet.

Furthermore, Aircel parting with a large part of its spectrum at one go may be a huge deal for the telecom company, Uppal adds.

Though Airtel has got the best deal so-far, Videocon and Aircel acquisitions will add about Rs 10,000 crore debt to Airtel's books, says SP Tulsian. Further, Airtel and Reliance Jio in the 4G space will prove to be tough competition for others, he adds.

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First Published on Apr 8, 2016 06:20 pm
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