Bharti Airtel is in talks with Augere Wireless Broadband India to finalize its 4G high-speed broadband services ahead of Reliance Jio, reports Economic Times. The deal is expected to be of Rs. 150 crore.
In 2010 auctions, Augere Wireless won a block of 20 MHz of 4G spectrum (in the 2,300 MHz band) in the Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh circle. Following the auction, the company announced its plan to roll out 4G services in 2011. However, the company withdrew its plan due to some regulatory issues and came forward to sell its permit. Bharti Airtel plans to buy this 20MHz 4G spectrum from Augere.
Through the recent deals, it is evident that Sunil Mittal owned company is trying to create enough capacity before Reliance Jio rolls out its 4G service later this year. Recently, Airtel formed a tied up with China Mobile to source devices and equipment for developing 4G technology.
The company currently holds 4G in 2300 MHz band in eight circles. Out of this, the spectrum required for four circles were purchased during 2010 auction. For the other four circles including Delhi and Mumbai, the company purchased airwaves from Qualcomm in 2013.
On the other hand, Reliance played smarter in this regard by acquiring Infotel Broadband Services, which was the sole winner of 4G spectrum in India.
Airtel’s 4G services are already available in few cities, such as Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Chandigarh and Amritsar. In Mumbai, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, Airtel 4G services are offered to the customers on trial basis. The 3G customers are offered a complimentary upgrade to 4G at 3G prices. Its first launch in Kolkata did not avail a desired result as the demand was too less.