Ambani brothers in spectrum blitz [Mail Today (India)]
(Mail Today (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Reliance Jio & RComm to bid for both 900 & 1,800 MHz in Feb auction RELIANCE Industry Limited's telecom arm Reliance Jio Infocomm ( RJI) sprang a surprise on Wednesday by entering the fray for the 2G spectrum auction to clash with younger brother Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications ( RComm) for both the 900 and 1,800 MHz bands. Cash- rich Reliance Jio will be able to offer basic mobile phone services along with its yet- to- be launched 4G service if it wins frequencies in the February auction increasing competition for existing players.
Besides the Ambani brothers, six other operators, including Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata Telservices and Telewings ( Uninor), applied for the auction on the last day for submitting applications.
Last April, the Ambani siblings were seen to have come closer after Mukesh's RJIO inked its first deal to share RComm's optic fibre network in the country to roll out 4G services. In 2010, Mukesh had made a dramatic entry into the telecom sector by buying pan- India 4G airwaves from Infotel Broadband.
This had marked the end of the non- compete pact the two brothers had signed at the time of the division of Dhirubhai Ambani's business empire.
RJI's bid for both 900 MHz and 1800 Mhz bands will give its yetto- be launched telecom services a boost as its is locked in the inefficient 2,300 MHz pan- India PAN 4G spectrum, which faces serious viability challenges. For a credible long- term telecom strategy, RJI would need to expand into smartphone- driven voice and data. RJI is betting big on the auction as it could employ 900 MHz for 2G voice and 3G Data along with 2,300 MHz for 4G LTE ( long- term evolution) services. RJI is expected to bid for 5 MHz block of 900 MHz spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. According to telecom ministry officials, Airtel and Vodafone could lose the 900 MHz band they current possess.
SSTL OPPOSES TRAI VIEW
SSTL, which operates under MTS brand, has termed as unfair Trai's proposed view that the operator be restricted from buying CDMA spectrum in auction of airwaves
SSTL was the lone bidder in March 2013 auctions for CDMA spectrum. Trai is of the view that SSTL has already acquired 3.75 MHz in eight service areas
Trai has expressed concern that SSTL will be able to provide 4G services by buying additional spectrum at half of the reserve price compared to other frequencies suitable for providing similar service. SSTL contested Trai's views and demanded reduction in prices of the airwaves
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