State-run telco BSNL has entered into discussions with Bharti Airtel for spectrum sharing in Rajasthan, UP (West), Bihar and Assam circles, and it has formed a committee to look into the feasibility aspect. The spectrum sharing deal is expected to be finalised by June this year, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava told PTI.
Bharti Airtel is aggressively looking to enhance its spectrum holdings in the country to better prepare itself to compete with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, which is the only pan-India 4G operator, and already has the maximum spectrum holdings in the country.
The government had last year approved the spectrum sharing norms allowing companies to share airwaves in the same band. Since then a couple of agreements have taken place in the country.
Reliance Jio had recently entered into a spectrum sharing and trading agreement with Reliance Communications. Prior to that, India’s second largest telco, Idea Cellular, had inked a similar deal with smaller telco Videocon Telecommunications for two circles. Spectrum sharing would be allowed only where both the licensees are having spectrum in the same band and leasing of spectrum will not be permitted. Also, sharing may be permitted where both telcos possess spectrum for which market price has been paid.
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