Idea to spend $1.3bn on spectrum purchase, Airtel may go for selective 700 MHz: Report

By May 6th, 2016 AT 12:34 PM

Idea Cellular, the country’s third largest telco by subscribers, is likely to spend $1.3 billion or around Rs 8,627 crore in buying additional data airwaves in key markets in the upcoming auction around July, according to HSBC.

HSBC analyst Rajiv Sharma, in a note, said that the Aditya Birla Group company may add more data capacity in four circles.


Further, Idea Cellular, which is likely to spend Rs 6,500-7000 crore in capex, may selectively pick data spectrum in its leadership circles like Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, UP-West, where the telco has seen a sharp surge in incremental revenue market share (RMS) over the past one year.

The brokerage firm, according to an ET report, also said that market leader Bharti Airtel may selectively buy 4G airwaves in the premium 700 Mhz band in a few circles, where it does not have liberalised 900 MHz spectrum for 3G.

“Bharti Airtel may add 700 Mhz spectrum in a few markets where it is either priced at par or lower to 900 MHz spectrum as it could help the company address indoor data coverage issues, especially where it cannot use 900 MHz airwaves for 3G deployments,” said brokerage HSBC.

The report said that Bharti Airtel does not have any 900 Mhz spectrum in key markets like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana and MP. The report added that the telco also does not have liberalised 900 MHz spectrum in UP-East and UP-West where it runs 3G on the traditional 2100 Mhz band.

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SanthoshRhishavYodaashishEsmail Recent comment authors
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I want airtel to bid for 2100 MHz band pan India. And use it for 4G. Plus get a block each in Kerala Punjab and Kolkata where they don’t have it. If they have a plan then they will work with it. I think Idea and Vodafone will become pan India 3G operators after this auction. RCom may bid in selected circles to fill in the gaps left out after the Aircel merger. I don’t think there is much chance for any others to bid in this band actually. And all the operators will probably top up their existing 1800… Read more »


Idea and Voda should first aim to get pan-India 3G spectrum. This willingness to buy 700MHz spectrum contradicts their earlier statements.

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