The Indian arm of Norway's telecom major Uninor acquired additional spectrum in 1800MHz band in Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West, Bihar & Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, while Assam will be the new circle for the company.
While other operators are gearing up for rolling out next gen high speed mobile internet a.k.a. mobile broadband with different technologies like WCDMA, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSPA, LTE-FDD or LTE-TDD, Telenor plans to continue offering voice, text and 2G mobile internet to its customers, thus Assam fits in their plans. Interestingly the company left two of most profitable circles – West Bengal and Kolkata in 2012 auction, and this time they did not try to get back; may be because these two circles are in Reliance Jio’s intial roll out plans.
Uninor currently operates in 6 circles - Maharastra & Goa, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West, Bihar & Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. Spectrum acquired by Uninor in the 1800Mhz band: UP East – 1.8 MHz, UP West – 2.0 MHz, Bihar and Jharkhand – 2.2 MHz, Andhra Pradesh – 1.4 MHz, Assam – 6.0 MHz. Uninor has to pay Rs 844.72 cr for this spectrum.
“It is critical that mobile tariffs remain affordable for the mass market after the auctions. With its auction strategy, Uninor has ensured that it can continue to offer the most affordable tariffs in each of its seven circles while maintaining a healthy business case. We have now secured a spectrum platform for continuing growth and profitability in each of our circles,” said Morten Karlsen Sorby, nominated CEO of Uninor.
“Telenor Group has always stated that we have a long term perspective on our investment in India. I am pleased that Uninor through this auction has strengthened its competitive advantage as a cost efficient operator. Uninor is now well positioned to continue its growth path through offering affordable mobile services to even more customers in India, both in existing circles and in Assam where we believe the Uninor model fits very well,” said Sigve Brekke, Head of Telenor Asia region.
Uninor’s Plans after adding more spectrum and a new circle under its bookmark:
- Enhance its voice and data capacity by approximately 20% to 25% in Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West, Bihar and Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh where they got additional spectrum.
- Improve capacity and coverage through a significant expansion of network sites in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
- Uninor has already started geographical network expansion in all 6 circles: its largest ever network expansion of over 30% to be completed in 5 months.
- Uninor will soon launch services in Assam with aggressive tariff plans (sabse sasta).