India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has today allotted Broadband Wireless Access spectrum to four telecom operators in India – Reliance Industries (RIL) owned Infotel, Bharti Airtel, Aircel and Tikona Digital, according to a report from PTI, which quotes unnamed DoT officials. The report suggests that Infotel, which was acquired by Reliance Industries, has been allocated spectrum in all 22 circles and Bharti Airtel in four. MediaNama is yet to receive a confirmation or denial of the allocation of spectrum from either Bharti Airtel or Tikona Digital, whom we have contacted, and there is no update on the allocation on DoT’s website.
It’s worth noting that the allocation of 20 MHz of BWA spectrum has (reportedly) been made much ahead of the allocation of 3G spectrum, which is scheduled to be made end September, but is expected to be delayed until the beginning of 2011. Infotel, which RIL bought 95% in for Rs. 4800 crore, is the only entity to win high speed broadband spectrum (whether 3G or BWA) across the country, for Rs. 12,847.77 crore. Jyotindra Thacker is expected to head Infotel.
Bharti Airtel won spectrum in four circles (for Rs. 3314.36 Cr), Aircel in eight (for Rs. 3438.01 Cr), and Tikona in five (for Rs. 1058.2 cr). Apart from these four, Qualcomm won spectrum in four circles and Augere (Mauritius) in one. BSNL and MTNL have already been allotted BWA spectrum, but have done precious little with it.
Details of India’s BWA Spectrum Auctions here.
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