Idea plans to raise $800 million for 4G LTE expansion in India: Report

Idea Cellular is reportedly planning a rights issue to raise funds worth $800 million in a bid to support its 4G LTE expansion in the country, following its acquisition of new airwaves in the October auctions. ETNow on Friday reported that Idea Cellular is likely to seek the Board’s nod for rights issue in January. It added that the additional funds are in sync with the telco’s greater focus on 4G technology after the entry of Reliance Jio and 4G expansion by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone.


Idea Cellular, which is India’s third largest telecom operator, recently acquired additional 2×74.6 MHz spectrum in FDD technology on 1800 and 2100 bands, and 200 MHz of capacity spectrum in TDD technology on 2300 and 2500 bands.

The telco had earlier said that it intends to expand its 4G services to 20 circles in FY17. It is planning to erect 57,000 additional sites this year to enable the launch of 4G in 9 circles and expand wireless broadband footprint across the country.

Idea Cellular provides GSM based wireless service at the pan-India level, it is present in all 22 telecom circles. Idea’s wireless broadband network is spread across 17 circles. The telco plans to achieve a network of nearly 250,000 sites and optical fibre network of 1.41 lakh km this financial year, it had said in a recent statement.

For the July-September quarter, Idea reported a 59% drop in its comprehensive consolidated income of Rs 90 crore, as compared to the April-June period. Fewer calls and competitive data rates caused by Reliance Jio’s entry contributed to the loss incurred by the telco.

Also read: Idea Cellular in talks with Telenor for a cash-less acquisition: Report

The Aditya Birla Group company also plans to introduce live TV, digital magazines and newspaper subscription, video and audio chat, rich messaging and Voice over IP services in the next financial year.

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26 Comments on "Idea plans to raise $800 million for 4G LTE expansion in India: Report"


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December 25, 2016 7:45 pm 7:45 PM

Idea has a horrible network in Karnataka. Airtel is much better.

December 25, 2016 5:48 pm 5:48 PM

TT, Rcom is also in plans to raise $500 million. They are talking to potential investors for the same. Purpose: Network expansion and quality improvement. Kindly make an article on the same.

December 25, 2016 7:02 pm 7:02 PM

Source? Are they going to improve 3G network?

December 25, 2016 11:12 pm 11:12 PM

3G network will be improved only after aircel merger is completed. Post merger they will redeploy 3G towers and use DC HSPA for higher speeds in circles where both aircel and rcom have 3G spectrum. Though currently in last quarter about 500 3G BTS were deployed so they are not sleeping.
Post merger completion, Rcom and Aircel will invest around USD 500 million each and seek another investment from a 3rd party which is rumoured to be MTS/Sistema.

Source: Rcom financial reports of last 2 quarters and economic times.

December 26, 2016 2:39 am 2:39 AM

When everything will be finished? I mean total merger of MTS Rcom and Aircel? Tentative date?

December 26, 2016 12:16 pm 12:16 PM

MTS merger is almost 100% done. Aircel merger should be finished in 4 months from now.

December 26, 2016 1:12 pm 1:12 PM

Is there any chance of Idea buying Tata Docomo?

December 26, 2016 1:11 pm 1:11 PM

What is DC HSPA?

December 26, 2016 9:18 pm 9:18 PM

Dual Carrier HSPA. When spectrum is 9-10 Mhz in a 3G band this tech can be deployed to give 4G like speeds on 3G technology.

December 26, 2016 1:11 pm 1:11 PM

Does MTS have spectrum in Mumbai and Maharashtra circle?

December 26, 2016 1:03 am 1:03 AM
Don’t expect much from rcom…. All weak financial groups (rcom, aircel & Mts) are partnering for an decent valuation of the new brand which will Help them exit from the Telecom sector. The new association will continue for 2-3 years from now, after which the company will be taken over by Jio. They will not be able to build a brand name as Jio is very aggressive & the other three players of avoid group are also very strong. There is no space for an extra player in the market. Telenor & Tata will also be sold off or taken… Read more »
December 26, 2016 12:15 pm 12:15 PM

I have a feeling that Maxis/Aircel will buy controlling stake in the new firm after 2-3 years. RCom and MTS might exit. Jio may not buy at this point, but let’s see.

Either way, the merger will bring fresh funds infusion for network expansion and quality improvement. Good for both Aircel and RCom users.

December 26, 2016 1:10 pm 1:10 PM

Now Aircel doesn’t have 4G spectrum…. Now this new merged entity will sustain in this market? Will they able to stay when 5G launches ?

December 26, 2016 9:17 pm 9:17 PM

MergedCo will retain access to both Rcom’s 4G spectrum AND the 4G infrastructure sharing of Jio. Time will tell about 5G.

Aslam (Raj.)
December 25, 2016 12:26 pm 12:26 PM

When will Idea acquire Tata ya Telenor ?
When will Idea start 3g-4g in Rajasthan?