Indian unit of Norway-based Telenor is in talks with Tikona Digital for merging parts of broadband spectrum business, according to Economic Times media reports. The deal may focus only on the data business of Telenor and voice might not be included in it.
Both the companies are looking to synergise respective teams and operational capabilities. The deal, if happens, will give spectrum footprint to Telenor India and Tikona Digital in new circles. Telenor is present in only six circles (service areas) in the country.
Tikona Digital Networks was earlier exploring sale of its 4G spectrum to Vodafone India. Tikona has airwaves in the 2300 MHz band, which it bought in the 2010 auctions in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, UP (East), UP (West) and Rajasthan for over Rs 1,058 crore. The Mumbai-based internet service provider is currently running a commercial pilot to offer high-speed broadband services in a handful of cities, including Varanasi, targeting home and enterprise users.
Tikona Digital recently bagged an approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the issuance of CCDs worth Rs 267 crore to increase foreign equity to 76.73%.
Telenor India earlier said that it will not participate in the upcoming spectrum auction. It has commercial operations in UP (West), UP (East), Bihar (including Jharkhand), Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana), Maharashtra (including Goa) and Gujarat.
“We recognise the significant operational and financial improvement delivered by our Indian operation. We have however, after thorough consideration, decided not to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction, as we believe the proposed spectrum prices do not give an acceptable level of return,” the Norwegian telecom operator had said in its financial report.
Telenor has over 53 million subscriptions from the six circles. It is also offering 4G services under test pilot across its 6 circles in Varanasi, Vizag, Amravati, Agra, Anand, Lucknow, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Tenali, Eluru, Bhimavaram, Dhanbad, Warangal, Dehradun, Guntur and Rajahmundry.
Indian market is going through consolidation. Recently Reliance Communications acquired Aircel and MTS. Bharti Airtel had acquired Videocon recently. Indian telecom industry boasted of around 10-12 telecom service providers. The entry of Greenfield operator, Reliance Jio acted as a catalyst launch of 4G serviesan increasing number of players The launch of Relian