Idea Cellular: not looking at 700 MHz spectrum for mobile broadband

Rajat Mukarji, chief corporate affairs officer at Idea Cellular, said the company is not looking at the 700 MHz spectrum band for mobile broadband.

Recently, telecom regulator TRAI suggested that the telecom ministry — headed by Ravi Shankar Prasad — should suggest the way forward for auctioning the 700 MHz spectrum. Currently, the proposed telecom spectrum auction for January-February 2015 is hanging on balance due to lack of consensus on defence and telecom ministries.

In a letter to select media, Mukarji said: “We have seen how the 2300 MHz spectrum which was auctioned in 2010 still remains unused as services are yet to be launched on this band. This should, therefore, discourage us from looking at the 700 MHz band for the immediate present.”

idea cellular 3G

Reliance Jio Infocomm, the pan-India telecom operator with 4G license, is yet to utilize its 2300 MHz spectrum acquired nearly five years ago. Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, launched 4G on TD-LTE technology in select markets.

Idea Cellular – on standalone basis – posted 39.4 billion MB mobile data volume on Idea’s 2G and 3G network with a 21.3 percent quarterly growth.

The main growth driver for mobile broadband is Idea Cellular’s 3G growth strategy. In the last two years, Idea Cellular launched more than 20 models and sold over 800,000 units in its 3G markets.

The telecom operators warned that nearly 100 million customers will be impacted due to delay in extending the spectrum license in Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi.

As per a proposal from Idea Cellular, which won 5MHz of spectrum in the 900 MHz band in Delhi, the telecom carrier will try to ensure the smooth transition for consumers as existing operators would not be required to migrate their systems to different frequency bands.

Baburajan K
[email protected]