Idea Buys 1800 MHz Spectrum from Videocon Telecommunications, to launch 4G LTE in Gujarat and UP (West)


Looking forward to launch its 4G LTE services, Idea Cellular Limited has entered into an agreement with Videocon Telecommunications Limited for acquiring right to use spectrum, pursuant to the DoT “Guidelines for Trading of Access Spectrum by Access Service Providers” for the telecom service areas of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West).

This agreement for Idea’s two Leadership telecom circles is for a quantum of 2×5 MHz contiguous blocks of 1800 MHz in each service area, with right to use spectrum until December 2032, which Idea Cellular intends to use for deployment of 4G (LTE) services in these service areas.

The transaction will be effective only after a) completion of the due diligence related to above spectrum, and b) written confirmation by DoT on the transfer of right to use spectrum to Idea Cellular. Both Companies intend to jointly intimate the ‘Department of Telecommunications’ for trading the right to use these spectrum blocks as per the Guidelines, after completion of certain aspects of due diligence. The effective date of spectrum trading will not be earlier than 45 days from the date of joint intimation, as defined in Guidelines.

The aggregate consideration for the right to use spectrum transaction is INR 3,310 crore, which may be subject to adjustment based on the due diligence exercise. Along with the right to use spectrum, Idea will also be taking over the outstanding ‘Deferred Payment Liability’ of Videocon Telecommunications Ltd., payable to the DoT, in respect of the spectrum being acquired for service areas of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West) in the November 2012 Access Spectrum auction.

The amount of outstanding ‘Deferred Payment Liability’ after repayment of first instalment on December 1, 2015 by Seller will be Rs. 482.26 crores and this amount plus interest accrued thereon till the date of closing of transaction (as contemplated in the said agreement) will be reduced from the payment of the aggregate consideration of Rs. 3,310 crores payable for right to use the spectrum.

Launching 4G LTE Services

Idea intends to use this acquired spectrum for launch of 4G (LTE) Mobile Broadband Services in the service areas of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West). With this spectrum trading arrangement, Idea’s 4G (LTE) spectrum footprint will expand to 12 service areas covering over 75% of Idea’s current revenue and over 72% of existing 170 million quality subscribers on VLR.

These 12 circles currently contribute 60% of the Indian telecom industry mobility revenues. After completion of this transaction, Idea would have full range of Mobility Services across 2G (GSM), 3G (HSPA) and 4G (LTE) technologies in all of its 8 leadership markets of Maharashtra & Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Telengana, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West).

As per the latest TRAI Q2FY16 release in these 8 Telecom service areas, Idea’s combined Revenue Market Share is 30.3% and Subscriber Market Share (on VLR) is 28.6%, a clear No. 1 and dominant Market position. Idea is on track to launch its 4G (LTE) services in 750 towns across existing 10 4G circles by first half of calendar year 2016, and after the completion of this transaction, plans to introduce 4G services in Calendar Year 2016 in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West) Telecom service areas.

As per the present spectrum allocation in 1800 MHz and declared usage, Idea will be the first and only operator with liberalised 5MHz contiguous spectrum to launch 4G (LTE) services in the service area of Haryana, and post completion of this transaction, in Uttar Pradesh (West).

The company is confident that with this expansion of its spectrum portfolio, strong customer affinity of over 170 million customers, robust cash flows and excellent track record of execution, the brand will be able to profitably monetise the opportunities in mobile broadband across 3G and 4G platforms and emerge even stronger.