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RCOM/Aircel merger passes CCI hurdle, Airtel in talks for TDN’s 2300MHz spectrum

20 Mar 2017

The planned merger of Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Aircel has been approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the Economic Times reports. The tie-up has already been greenlit by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), as well as the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange of India (NSE), but is still subject to approvals from other authorities, including the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Under the terms of the deal, RCOM and Aircel will each take a 50% stake in the combined entity. The development follows on the heels of last week’s announcement that RCOM has also received approval for its merger with Russian-owned Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL, also known as MTS India) from SEBI. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the RCOM/SSTL merger will see SSTL’s mobile business demerged into RCOM, with SSTL taking a 10% equity stake in RCOM.

In another Indian development, meanwhile, Bharti Airtel – the country’s largest mobile provider by subscribers – is reportedly in the final stages of discussions to acquire Tikona Digital Networks’ (TDN’s) 4G spectrum for between INR8 billion (USD122.09 million) and INR10 billion. The spectrum in question covers the operator’s 2300MHz frequencies in the Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West and Rajasthan circles. TDN currently uses the airwaves for a fixed time division duplex LTE (TD-LTE) service. Following the frequency sale, however, TDN would continue offering wireless broadband services over its 2600MHz WiBro network, the Economic Times writes.

India, Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Reliance Communications (RCOM), Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL, MTS India), Tikona Infinet

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