RCOM confirms merger talks with MTS India, 4G service on horizon why it’s a win win for both operators

By June 16th, 2015 AT 3:02 AM

As we had reported earlier, Reliance Communications has confirmed it is has been involved in exclusive talks to buy MTS India in a stock swap deal. Earlier last month Vladimir Yevtushenkov, who controls MTS parent company Sistema conglomerate held talks with Reliance Communications about a possible joint venture in India.


4G service on the horizon

In last February 2015 auction, RCOM surprised everyone by bidding for additional 800MHz spectrum of  1.25 to 2.5 MHz in many circles to bring its total holding to 5MHz on pan India level for 4G deployment. But 4G deployment was not going to be easy for RCOM as major chuck of its 800MHz spectrum still lies unliberalized  and had to pay thousands of cores to get it liberalized. Another problem was its existing CDMA and EVDO subscriber base. Once RCOM go for 4G, there won’t be enough airwaves left to continue its CDMA operations.

Here comes the significant of merger with MTS India as it hold at least 3.75MHz of liberalized 800MHz spectrum in 9 circles. Combined with that the recently bought 1.25 to 2.5 MHz spectrum will make sufficient 5MHz for 4G deployment and still have enough 800Mhz unliberalized spectrum to continue CDMA operations for existing subscribers for both operators.

Win-Win for both operators

The pure-play CDMA operator MTS India strategy was to become a major data player in India. But its decision to stay away from recent auction citing high reserve price has proven lethal as it has left with scarcity of spectrum and operations in only 9 circles. 4G deployment was also impossible for MTS as it was left with only 3.75MHz spectrum in most circles. With the merger, both operator could pool its spectrum to start 4G service on liberalized spectrum while retaining its CDMA service on unliberalized spectrum.

Both companies will go for a stock swap deal which means companies don’t have to spend money on the merger. Once the merger is completed, RCOM and MTS will end up with shareholding in the combined entity. The government is excepted to announce merger and acquisition guidelines shortly. But still the transaction is not likely to go smoothly as in past government regulators had raised concerned about similar mergers of Vodafone-Hutch and Idea-Spice.

An IT professional who has got great passion for telecom. Has been closely watching Indian telecom space since 2009.

Leave a Reply

Photo and Image Files
9 Comment threads
33 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
18 Comment authors
Viranchsanjit royrinkoosaketMaghsood Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted


sanjit roy
sanjit roy

This will be the beginning of consolidation in the Indian telecom industry. I think after m&a guidelines, Tata docomo and Aircel should merge and create a single entity that will be a win win situation for them as well as for customers. For example, after this TD customers of kolkata and rob have access to 3g, also they can reduce opex and able to utilize their infrastructure at optimum levels. However their are lot of customers who are worried about tariff hike, but only market forces will decide this and as far as TD/Aircel is concerned they are both making… Read more »


Merger means reduction of player and which means reduce competition and ultimately tariff hike.

If TD and aircel merge and become profitable is myth.

Both will merge and increase tariff which will reduce losses.

sanjit roy
sanjit roy

@Saket- Bro merger will also reduce opex, actually most of the funds are wasted in opex. Even they can utilize or shift their surplus infrastructure for new expansions after merger. For example, aircel can shift their equipments (BTS/BSC) form kolkata to rest of bengal for expansions, so merger will not only benefit TD/Aircel at the same time customers will also get the benefits like improvement of network coverage.

Recent Posts

Redmi K20 Becomes the First Xiaomi Phone in India to Receive Stable MIUI 11 Update

As promised at the Redmi Note 8 Pro launch event, Xiaomi has started rolling out the stable MIUI 11 update...

ACT Fibernet Offering 5 FlexyBytes+ Plans to Extend FUP Limit by Up to 500GB

ACT Fibernet or Atria Convergence Technologies is currently allowing users to extend their FUP limit by up to 500GB through...

Broadcasters Want License Fee and Cap on Platform Services for DTH Operators

There has been a long going debate between the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and the Direct-to-Home (DTH) operators...