Idea Cellular has entered into an agreement to acquire the rights to use spectrum currently with Videocon Telecom in the 1800 MHz band in two key circles - Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (West) - for Rs 3310 crore. The right, for 2x5 MHz contiguous blocks of spectrum will be with Idea till December 2032, and essentially amounts to an acquisition of spectrum for Idea. However, the deal will only be applicable after a written confirmation from DoT of the right to use spectrum, and after due diligence done by Idea Cellular. The amount (Rs 3310 crore), includes the payment of Rs 482.26 crores that Videocon Telecom owes the DoT. There is no comparison between the two telecom operators: Idea, with 170 million connections, is over 21 times Videocon, at 7.9 million. Acquired spectrum for LTE Idea intends to use this spectrum for deployment of LTE services, and once this deal is done, Idea will be in a position to provide LTE in 12 service areas, covering 72% of its existing active user base, and 75% of its current service area. As per the latest TRAI data, Idea has around 13 million connections in total in UP West, and around 11 million in Gujarat. Videocon has around 30 thousand connections in UP West and 2.4 million in Gujarat. Idea plans to launch its 4G (LTE) services in 750 towns across existing 10 4G/LTE circles by first half of calendar year 2016, and will introduce 4G/LTE in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West)…
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