RCom Can Now Lib­er­alise 800 MHz Spec­trum in 4 Cir­cles

The Economic Times - - Companies - Our Bureau

Kolkata: The Cab­i­net has ap­proved lib­er­al­is­ing 800 MHz spec­trum in Ra­jasthan, Kar­nataka, Ker­ala and Tamil Nadu, clear­ing the air on their pro­vi­sional mar­ket price and paving the way for Re­liance Com­mu­ni­ca­tions to share or trade band­width in these ar­eas.

“The mean­ing of this Cab­i­net de­ci­sion is that wher­ever ad­min­is­tra­tively (non-auc­tioned) al­lo­cated spec­trum is avail­able, whose lib­er­al­i­sa­tion is sought and whose mar­ket-de- ter­mined price is not avail­able, then in that case, Trai’s rec­om­men­da­tion on auc­tion price shall be taken as pro­vi­sional stan­dard and af­ter ac­tual auc­tion, the bal­ance will be taken,” telecom min­is­ter Ravi Shankar Prasad said af­ter a Cab­i­net meet­ing on Wed­nes­day.

Pay­ing the mar­ket price for air­waves that were al­lot­ted and not auc­tioned al­lows tel­cos to use the spec­trum to of­fer any stan­dard — 2G, 3G or 4G — for ser­vices. Be­sides, car­ri­ers will be able to bring new tech­nolo­gies and share and trade the air­waves with other oper­a­tors. The 800 MHz spec­trum is a much sought- af­ter band­width for of­fer­ing 4G ser­vices. Anil Am­bani’s RCom can now lib­er­alise its 800 MHz air­waves in the four cir­cles and ex­pand its spec­trum-shar­ing pact with Mukesh Am­ban­iowned Re­liance Jio In­fo­comm. Based on the bench­marks sug­gested by Trai, the cost of lib­er­al­is­ing RCom’s air­waves in the four cir­cles is likely to be about .₹ 1,300 crore, a per­son aware of the mat­ter said.

Trai pegged the start­ing price of 800 MHz spec­trum in Kar­nataka, Tamil Nadu, Ker­ala and Ra­jasthan at .₹ 303 crore, .₹ 360 crore, .₹ 243 crore and .₹ 204 crore, re­spec­tively. The rates were part of the base prices it rec­om­mended for seven bands pro­posed to be of­fered in In­dia’s big­gest spec­trum auc­tion, likely around July.

RCom has lib­er­alised air­waves in 18 cir­cles. It paid .₹ 5,384 crore as lib­er­al­i­sa­tion fee to the telecom depart­ment for 16 cir­cles and ac­quired the band­width in As­sam and North­east in the March 2015 auc­tion. RCom shares rose 3.1% to close at .₹ 50.95 on BSE on Wed­nes­day.

RCom can now ex­pand its spec­trumshar­ing pact with Mukesh Am­bani’s Re­liance Jio

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