Airtel, Vodafone Looking to Acquire RCom’s Spectrum in 2100 MHz and 900 MHz Band: Report

India’s top two telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India are now eyeing debt-ridden Reliance Communications’ spectrum in the 2100 MHz band in 13 circles that will expire in 2030. These circles are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Northeast, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Orissa, West Bengal and Rajasthan.


Both the telcos are looking to enhance their spectrum holdings in these circles some of which are key markets in terms of growth and potential, according to a report in the Economic Times, which also added that these telcos along with Idea Cellular may also seek RCom’s spectrum in the 900 MHz band in Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Spectrum in both these bands can be used for 4G services in India, even though they are currently being used to offer 3G services.

“There is no immediate desperation to buy RCom’s spectrum in 900 or 2100 MHz bands, but if the valuations are good and there is a business case, Vodafone could explore select acquisitions,” a person was quoted as saying by the publication.

Reliance Jio, the Mukesh Ambani-led 4G entrant, would also look at buying RCom’s 4G spectrum in seven key markets and in the 850 MHz band, which the latter has recently received after the successful merger with Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL). However, Jio could only buy these airwaves if the Indian government gives approval to the Trai’s recent recommendation for easing spectrum caps.

RCom and Jio had earlier signed spectrum trading and sharing pacts in early 2016 to leverage each other’s 850 MHz airwaves to launch 4G services across India.

Under its SDR plan, RCom is looking to repay up to Rs 17,000 crore via monetisation of assets. Alongside that, the company is also planning to repay another Rs 10,000 via the sale, development of real estate space.

In addition, RCom is also looking to sell a few of assets to Reliance Industries backed Reliance Jio. Apart from Jio, few more companies such as ATC, Indus Towers, Bharti Airtel, Sistema JSFC, Brookfield Infrastructure, TPG Capital, I-Squared Capital, Tillman Global Holdings, Gateway Partners, and I-Squared Capital are looking to purchase the RCom’s tower unit.

RCom’s lenders are selling the spectrum to try and recover part of their Rs 45,000 crore dues.

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41 Comments on "Airtel, Vodafone Looking to Acquire RCom’s Spectrum in 2100 MHz and 900 MHz Band: Report"


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Sunny | Lucknow
December 1, 2017 10:01 pm 10:01 PM

RCOM network finally disappeared here around 9 PM. Signals are on but cannot latch on to it anymore and no incoming either.

December 3, 2017 2:00 am 2:00 AM

Rcom signals are still live in Kolkata. Don’t have a sim to test the network.

December 2, 2017 11:25 am 11:25 AM
Rcom in Karnataka signal disappeared on November 1st week itself. Thereafter no calls or sms. Upon manual selection of Aircel it used to work. But now even Aircel not accepting Rcom numbers. Automatically latching onto idea or vodafone here in Karnataka with hundreds of SMS asking to port to their network, but no calls possible still. Porting out to Airtel hopefully in a weeks time. Paper verification is taking too long. Good bye to pathetic anil ambani network. Same number from 2002 i’ve been using. I have another docomo number too which is yet to “automatically” join the Airtel network… Read more »
Sunny | Lucknow
December 2, 2017 2:56 pm 2:56 PM

Mine automatically latched to Airtel, when RCOM network went off. Latches to Vodafone too. UPC can still be generated. I guess they had a substantial user base here that’s why didn’t close the network earlier. Wonder what’ll happen to their 4G, will they continue or not. Anyway I’ll port out because they’ll never give better offers than Jio.

December 2, 2017 4:32 pm 4:32 PM

Their 4G is only their enterprise business. God knows which company will use Anil’s unreliable services. Every business he exits after duping customers. And now this guy won a massive defence contract as well. God knows what will become of his defence supplies!

December 3, 2017 11:09 am 11:09 AM

Rcom in MPCG holds the unique distinction of being the ONLY telco that I have never had a wrong billing dispute with. I know many PPL have problems with Rcom but to me it was a very straightforward, streamlined company to work with. Anyway, farewell rcom.

December 2, 2017 3:49 pm 3:49 PM

Lol!!!!! They were the first offering 1GB per day Prior to Jio at 93Rs for a month!!!!!! In Mumbai coverage was top notch!!!!!

December 2, 2017 7:01 am 7:01 AM

Mubarak ho Bhai…. lol rip rcom

Sunny | Lucknow
December 2, 2017 12:33 pm 12:33 PM

Lol. Best part of RCOM dying is that we’ll never have to hear/bear that disgusting RCOM caller tune again!

Harmanveer Kaur
December 1, 2017 9:00 pm 9:00 PM

Can’t say about the other circles, but in Sunil Mittal’s home state,i.e. Punjab, Airtel’s spectrum implementation is superb. They’ve got each and every centimetre of the state covered with 2G, 3G and 4G.
For rural areas, 900 MHz is being used for 2G and 3G both, and 1800 MHz for 4G. The 2300 MHz spectrum is being used for 4G in urban areas, where 2G works on 1800 and 3G on 900.
The only operator without 2100 MHz in Punjab, and none of the others have covered the whole state with all three technologies.
Kudos to Airtel 🙂

December 2, 2017 5:55 am 5:55 AM

How can I see the band details of any operator???

Harmanveer Kaur
December 2, 2017 12:35 pm 12:35 PM

Download Cellmapper APP from Play Store. It will show all the details.

December 2, 2017 3:56 am 3:56 AM

Jio all 4g on 850,1800,2300….only 1 mode….sad lyf 2g/3g/4g switchers…I don’t know how worse Volte, C.A implementation for Airtel.

Harmanveer Kaur
December 2, 2017 5:17 am 5:17 AM

Even Jio keeps on switching between bands depending whether you’re in a spacious room, closed room or outdoors. This too leads to a high battery drain, and variation in data speeds.
Try making a video call on Airtel 4G, and you’ll notice the difference. Jio is capping the speeds of all video calling apps to just 1 Mbps.

Sunny | Lucknow
December 2, 2017 12:40 pm 12:40 PM

Haha, infact it’s entirely opposite to what you say. Frequent band shifting preserves battery. Your phone will consume more battery if it’s latched to a poor signal strength network. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with single bar band 40 coverage in a basement. Agree on the variation in speeds part but that’s fixable and people are already seeing good speeds on all three bands Jio is using.

December 2, 2017 12:36 am 12:36 AM

Just copy paste the statement and replace “Airtel” with “Idea” for Madhya Pradesh. 🙂

December 2, 2017 3:36 pm 3:36 PM
Na kaushik it might be for Madhya pradesh but in chhattisgarh you just compare idea no of towers and airtel and also go to place like kunkuri,bacheli ,lilapur,fingeshwar etc etc you will see there is no idea 3g/4g even idea got licence in 2010 but airtel has 3G which got licence much later i think in 2015.I would say airtel 3g is much much stronger than idea 3G in chhattisgarh although idea 2g’s coverage is greater than airtel 2g because of 900 Mhz but airtel has more no of towers than idea and in cities airtel has way more coverage… Read more »
Harmanveer Kaur
December 2, 2017 4:53 am 4:53 AM

Till past two years, Idea used to be top notch in Punjab. Earlier Airtel was using idea’s 3G network via ICR.
But with the advent of 4G, it is Airtel that is ruling. As of now, the 4G network of Airtel is much stronger than 2G network of Idea. Even after Vodafone and Idea combine, they can’t match Airtel in Punjab. 🙂

December 2, 2017 3:57 am 3:57 AM

Lol……Your signal don’t say of whole madhya Pradesh.

December 2, 2017 9:10 am 9:10 AM

No Arena it’s 100% true. Idea has the best 2G, 3G and 4G network in MP. including remote areas. Jio comes second. I am regularly in rural….

December 2, 2017 12:00 am 12:00 AM

Just saying :

Come to Gulf countries and see. You can experience 2G, 3G and 4G all over the country. =

Harmanveer Kaur
December 2, 2017 4:58 am 4:58 AM

They’re using 3CA LTE+ and 2CA LTE-A with 800 MHz combined with 1800 and 2300. Once India switches to LTE+, maybe we will also get same quality.
Hope for the better! 🙂

December 2, 2017 12:23 pm 12:23 PM

They must install 3G and 4G transmitters at all 2G sites first.

December 1, 2017 11:30 pm 11:30 PM

Why Punjab , when Airtel has most subscribers from Delhi circle.

Telecom should take metro cities more seriously, if they want revenue.

Harmanveer Kaur
December 2, 2017 4:45 am 4:45 AM

Because Airtel has its highest ARPU from Punjab. This is due to a much valid reason that the number of ISD calls outgoing from Punjab is much higher than any other state.
After all, it’s the ARPU that matters!!

December 2, 2017 4:14 am 4:14 AM

Lol….hahahaha that’s why they are crying now…

What do you mean by “seriously”. What will happen when 1000/1000000 that’s what happening in congested areas…Get high speed broadband like excitel, act, Spectra. Delhi is sheeit place. Heavily crowded…. only pollution and politician.

December 2, 2017 5:32 pm 5:32 PM

Delhi is heavily crowded,,, what about mumbai.?

Have to go to Mumbai this week..

December 2, 2017 3:02 pm 3:02 PM


saket kewate
December 1, 2017 10:43 pm 10:43 PM

Does that mean Sunil Mittal will stay in Punjab for ever.

Airtel doesnt want to be PAN India Operator covering atlest 2 network for every corner of INDIA?

Mukeshbhai/ Vodafone CEO and Even BIRALA’s are not doing any such discrimination like HOME STATE, and simply OTHERs.

Harmanveer Kaur
December 2, 2017 4:48 am 4:48 AM

The discrimination is not due to home circle or anything like that. Airtel is having highest ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) from Punjab, thanks to its high population density. Also, the number of ISD calls from Punjab is much higher than any other state, due to high NRI population.
So, Punjab is the most profiting circle for Airtel. That’s why they are investing here.

December 1, 2017 9:11 pm 9:11 PM

even some of rural areas are also covered by 2300 mhz and speed and coverage of airtel 4G is superb

December 2, 2017 4:22 am 4:22 AM

Lol Airtel didn’t implement pan India 4g on 2300 band?? Wtf dude…from any tower it’s just a antenna+ infra and power supply. Everywhere everything can be supported…. See jio almost all bands everywhere. Metro to City to town to village. Lyf with Airtel is lucky lottery pool. It can be 2g, 3g or 4g. Bcz airtel 2g is with 900mhz. This is the last mile of a unlucky user…..where on jio 850 is 4g. So everywhere browsing, streaming possible irrespective of congestion….now celebrate for being lucky with Airtel.

Kirti Khurana
December 2, 2017 1:23 pm 1:23 PM

Airtel not yet got the full clearances for 2300 MHz band which was acquired from various regional operators.
Airtel recently got clearance for spectrum bought from Tikona broadband.

December 1, 2017 8:23 pm 8:23 PM

No man none shud get it. Surely not Airtel.