Reliance Jio and Airtel Eye RCom’s Unsold 850 Mhz Spectrum: Report

After acquiring most of Reliance Communications’ spectrum along with fiber and tower assets, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm is reportedly targeting the Anil Ambani-led telco’s remaining unsold airwaves in the 850 MHz band. Bharti Airtel, however, is also eyeing RCom’s spectrum in the 850-Mhz band, which is considered suitable band for 4G services, according to a report by the Economic Times.


The Sunil Mittal-led telco may look at combining this spectrum with Tata Teleservices’s 850 MHz spectrum in some 18 circles. The merger between Airtel and Tata Teleservices’ mobility business is underway.

RCom’s unsold spectrum in the 850 Mhz band could be priced roughly at Rs3,500-4,000 crore, as per industry analysts.

Jio’s aspiration has gotten a push after the Telecom Commission’s approval to the sector regulator’s call for easing spectrum cap rules. “Jio possibly did not buy RCom’s entire spectrum holdings in the 850-MHz band last month as it could potentially have led to some spectrum cap breaches in the band,” a person was quoted as saying.

This spectrum, upon acquisition, would help Jio bolster its 4G network and to better compete with Airtel and the Idea-Vodafone combined entity.

The report said that the debt-ridden RCom has around 70 units of liberalised 850 MHz spectrum spread across 22 circles valid till July-September 2021. It added that the telecom operators might look at retaining a small part of its 850 MHz spectrum holdings for its enterprise customers.

The publication said that Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel are mulling over buying 60 units of RCom’s unsold but unliberalised 1800 MHz spectrum, valid till July-September 2021, in some circles. This spectrum, once liberalised, could be used for 4G services, and could be worth around Rs 1500 crore.

Jio, under the recently inked deal, is acquiring 122.4 MHz of 4G spectrum, 43,000 towers, 178,000 route kilometer of pan India optical fiber network and 248 media convergence nodes.

Reported By

Leave a Reply

26 Comments on "Reliance Jio and Airtel Eye RCom’s Unsold 850 Mhz Spectrum: Report"


Sort by:   newest | oldest
Vishal Chennai
January 12, 2018 3:19 pm 3:19 PM

Guys Jio in their twitter help care is telling to all most all of network releated complaints that in future we will add site at your location.Including my appellate complaint they are telling that it location is adequately covered but I am getting only one bar of signal that too only in850 MHz .I think they don’t know what they are doing clueless network management.Once my 399 pack is finished going to ditch the sim.Gradually they are behaving like AVOID.I think they stopped or slowed expanding network.

January 12, 2018 9:51 pm 9:51 PM

You need to give them the exact location from Google maps. They usually check it via netvelocity which gives the nearest tower location as your location unless you have enabled gps and netvelocity has recognized your exact location.

Vishal Chennai
January 13, 2018 3:07 pm 3:07 PM

All the details including nearest AVOID tower location also given.But still no new site.They tell your location has adequate Jio coverage but I get only -110 dBm in 850Mhz.I think they stopped installing new towers because in many places in Chennai I can see incomplete construction of roof top towers and monopole towers without any transcievers of jio for past 6-8 months

January 11, 2018 3:27 pm 3:27 PM

Esmail :

> What about the CDMA spectrum of RCom?. Is it 800 MHz?

> Can 3G or 4G used on 900 MHz if liberalized (in case of BSNL)?

> Will BSNL start 4G using 700 MHz?

January 11, 2018 5:09 pm 5:09 PM

>Rcom CDMA spectrum was 850 MHz, which is now liberalised and being used for 4G by Jio through sharing agreement with rcom.
>Yes 900 MHz can be used for both 3G and 4G if liberalised.
>Depends on whether the government is interested in picking up equity in BSNL by giving them 700 MHz for 4G. There is no way that BSNL can afford to buy it of its own accord.

January 12, 2018 9:42 am 9:42 AM

Esmail :

How did 850 and 900 MHz became technology neutral band that can be used for 2G, 3G or 4G?.

January 12, 2018 9:41 am 9:41 AM

Same old question :

Does BSNL have plans to start 3G using 2G 900 MHz and start 4G using 3G 2100 MHz?

January 11, 2018 1:12 am 1:12 AM
The fact that Rcom had this 70MHz liberalised spectrum in 850MHz band which it did not put up for the open bidding process during its recent sale of assets clearly points to the fact that it can’t sell those airwaves due to the spectrum sharing pact that it had signed with Jio till the expiry of that spectrum. Rcom can either hold on to it till 2021 and collect annual fees from jio as per the sharing agreement or then sell it outright after the spectrum caps are removed post cabinet approval and get a lump sum down payment for… Read more »
January 11, 2018 11:38 am 11:38 AM

Yes, you put a knife and do things.

January 11, 2018 11:24 am 11:24 AM

MTS 3.75 MHz carriers that Jio bought, DOT doesn’t consider it as liberalised because it was sold to systema on highly subsidised rates in 2.5 & 1.25 chunks when there were no takers for that band in 2013 at almost 50%.
Jio have to go through courts for clearances for using that band for 4G.

January 11, 2018 12:58 pm 12:58 PM
According to the NIA for the 2013 auction, the spectrum being sold was usable for any technology so it has to be considered as liberalised, just because there were no takers doesn’t justify DoT asking for more money than the floor price it set at which MTS bought it. In 2010 when DoT auctioned liberalised spectrum in 2100 MHz band, there was way more demand than supply and the operators ended up paying way more than its worth due to shortage in availability of spectrum. If you compare that to the demand shown by operators in 2015 and 2016 auctions… Read more »
Vishal Chennai
January 11, 2018 10:51 am 10:51 AM

Off topic : Vodafone have 10Mhz in band 1 for 4G in Chennai but they deployed only 5Mhz for what [email protected]

January 11, 2018 4:23 pm 4:23 PM

They will deploy the remaining 5Mhz on another carrier (EARFCN) on a different set of enodeBs. Example:- Airtel has some 10Mhz of 1800 MHz in Gujarat, but has deployed only 5 MHz right now. Remaining might be coupled with a a new set of carrier containing band 40 and band 3 and/or with CA.

Sonu Kolkata
January 11, 2018 2:04 pm 2:04 PM

Which application are you using

January 11, 2018 1:07 pm 1:07 PM

Hmm that’s strange, ideally they should have since they were allotted two blocks of 5 MHz in 2016 which were adjacent to each other and could be used as a 10 MHz carrier. Maybe they will deploy it as the load on the network increases.

Vishal Chennai
January 11, 2018 5:07 pm 5:07 PM

I think they deployed two separate 5Mhz carriers @Esmail

Adil Wadia
January 11, 2018 11:06 pm 11:06 PM

Your phone will report two separate cell identity numbers in that case. Do you see two different numbers at different times. Check and let us know.

Vishal Chennai
January 12, 2018 3:40 pm 3:40 PM

Yes in one sector for same eNb there are two CGI.

Vishal Chennai
January 12, 2018 10:59 am 10:59 AM

Yes it is confirmed I can see for single eNb there are two CGI in one sector in network signal Guru app.So two separate 5Mhz carriers.

January 11, 2018 5:52 pm 5:52 PM

That would be an illogical thing to do when you have the liberty of having both blocks consecutively allotted to you. Deploying 4G on a 10 MHz block provides more bandwidth than deploying on two blocks of 5 MHz. If the blocks allotted by DoT were not consecutive then Vodafone could have deployed on two 5 MHz blocks and added carrier aggregation.

Vishal Chennai
January 12, 2018 11:32 am 11:32 AM

@ Esmail in future any possibility for Vodafone to deploy as single 10Mhz carrier?