Aircel to sell BWA airwaves to refinance debt

28 May 2013

Indian cellco Aircel plans to sell off its broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum to refinance debt, although parent company Maxis Communications of Malaysia has agreed to invest INR50 billion (USD897.7 million) in the unit should it fail to find a buyer for the airwaves, the Times of India writes, citing sources directly involved in the matter. Significant operational costs and its purchase of BWA and 3G spectrum has left Aircel struggling with high levels of debt. As previously noted by CommsUpdate, the cellco was forced to trim back operations in five circles – Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab – in late 2012 as part of plans to improve its margins. A spokesperson for the cellco said at the time: ‘The telecom industry is facing severe margin pressures as the voice market is maturing and the data demand in its true sense is still nascent. Operational costs are high and incremental market demand for relatively new players is prohibitive.’

India, Aircel, Maxis