Airtel sells 800MHz spectrum to rival Jio for over $200 million


    Indian telecoms giant, Bharti Airtel has agreed to sell 800MHz spectrum in three areas to it largest rival and market leader, Reliance Jio for US$201.9 million.

    The deal is the first ever of its kind between the two telcos.

    Airtel said in a statement that it will transfer its 1.25MHz spectrum lot in the 800MHz band in Delhi, 2.5MHz in Mumbai, and 3.75MHz in Andhra Pradesh.

    The deal includes the present value of associated deferred payment liability of INR4.59 billion and will increase Jio’s holding in the 800MHz band to 2x15MHz in Mumbai and 2x10MHz in Andhra Pradesh and Delhi.

    Jio said the agreement meets spectrum trading guidelines issued by the Department of Telecommunications and is subject to regulatory approvals.

    Airtel’s MD and CEO for India and South Asia, Gopal Vittal said the sale will enable it to “unlock value from spectrum that was unutilised”.

    GSMA Intelligence estimated Jio had 416 million mobile connections (excluding cellular IoT) at end-March and Airtel 312 million, making them the top two operators in India.


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