Airtel’s acquisition of Tikona’s 4G spectrum fills the gap that it had in the TDD-LTE band mainly in UP East, UP West and Rajasthan circles, said research firm Gartner. Bharti Airtel has entered into a definitive agreement with Tikona Digital Networks to acquire Tikona’s 4G Business including the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum and 350 sites, in five telecom circles.
Tikona currently has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles. Airtel plans to roll-out 4G services on the newly acquired spectrum in the five circles immediately after the closure of the transaction, said a statement from Airtel.
As per the agreement, the acquisition of the 4G business in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Himachal Pradesh will be undertaken by Airtel, while in the Rajasthan circle, it will be accomplished through Airtel’s subsidiary Bharti Hexacom Limited.
“With this acquisition Airtel will have nationwide TDD-LTE spectrum. Combined with FDD-LTE this additional spectrum holding will help Airtel to be future ready for the surging data demands on 4G. In addition, this will also help Airtel to improve the quality of service with additional spectrum,” said Rishi Tejpal, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner.
After the Vodafone-Idea deal, this is another step towards consolidation in the Indian telecom sector. Overall things are heading in the right direction for a healthy competition, said Gartner.
“The Indian telecom sector is under pressure and the future expansion and growth will depend on the quantum of spectrum held and the quality of services offered,” said Tejpal.