Idea buys 349.2 MHz spectrum for Rs 12,798 crore

Idea Cellular has acquired 349.20 MHz of airwaves for Rs 12,798 crore through the spectrum auction 2016 to boost both coverage and capacity.

Idea Cellular has a total spectrum holding of over 890 MHz (in FDD and TDD technology bands) including 349.20 MHz from the spectrum auction in 2016. Idea Cellular has utilized the spectrum auction to fill the gap in spectrum coverage, while procuring a substantial part of its broadband capacity needs for the next decade.

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“The company will now focus on expanding its wireless broadband presence primarily on 4G LTE technology to over a billion Indians while offering high speed digital customer experience like never before,” said Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Idea Cellular.

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Idea has acquired additional 2×74.6 MHz spectrum in FDD technology on 1800 and 2100 bands, and 200 MHz of capacity spectrum in TDD technology on 2300 and 2500 bands to complete its mobile broadband footprint across all 22 service areas.

“While being prudent in its spectrum acquisition with less than 1 percent premium paid over the DoT set reserve price, Idea procured the highest ever, additional 37 wireless broadband carriers reaching capability to use an overall 64 high speed broadband carriers across bands of 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2500 MHz,” said Himanshu Kapania, managing director of Idea Cellular.

Idea Cellular said it is capable of deploying 3 to 7 broadband carriers in each of its 12 leadership markets gearing itself to substantially improve customer’s wireless data experience and capture higher share of exponentially growing mobile data business.

Idea Cellular is now well equipped to offer 4G services on its own spectrum across 20 service areas including 9 new service areas of Uttar Pradesh (West), Uttar Pradesh (East), Gujarat, Bihar & Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Mumbai, West Bengal, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir. Idea has procured 3G spectrum in Bihar & Rajasthan extending its capability to offer 3G services to 15 service areas.

Idea in this spectrum auction has expanded its spectrum portfolio by over 64 percent. The company has acquired an additional 35 4G LTE and 2 3G wireless broadband carriers for new coverage and capacity enhancement, primarily in its leadership markets.

Idea now owns 64 broadband carriers and intends to use 47 of these carriers on 4G LTE technology covering 94 percent of its revenue base, and 17 carriers for 3G services.