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Almost done: RCOM, Aircel wireless business merger to await regulatory approval

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Reliance Communication (RCOM), which earlier was in talks to merge its wireless business with Aircel, is expected to sign mandatory documents and send it for regularity approval, RCOM said in a BSE filing. Both RCOM and Aircel had originally entered into talks in December last year. In March RCOM extended the exclusivity period of discussions with Aircel by 60 days.

Shareholders of Reliance, Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Berhad, and Sindya Securities and Investments Private Limited—the shareholders of Aircel Limited are expected sign “definitive documentation and announce the proposed transaction” shortly. The transaction “will be subjected to regulatory, shareholders’, and third party approvals. Hence, there is no certainty that any transaction will result,” RCOM said in the filing.

Sistema deal awaiting approvals

Shareholders of Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), which owns the MTS brand in India, approved the merger of the company with RCOM, in April this year. They’re currently awaiting further approval from the Rajasthan and Bombay High Court, after which RCOM is expected to approach the DoT with further filings.

Note that earlier in January, the BSE and NSE had both approved the merger deal following which in February, the Competition Commission of India too approved the merger deal.

RCOM CDMA migration

Earlier this month, it was reported that RCOM would shut down its CDMA services in all of its telecom circles except 4 circles – Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka – in a bid to migrate CDMA customers to its 4G network. Later, Gurdeep Singh, CEO of RCOM’s Consumer Business said in an earnings call that CDMA dongles will be upgraded to 4G Wi-Pods at nominal rates.

RCOM’s migration from CDMA to 4G will be carried out in phases, circle by circle within the next two months, i.e., end-July. Post the upgrade users will get access to 4G data services, after all the regulatory approvals have been received, while voice services will be provide on RCOM’s own network.

RCOM & RJIO spectrum sharing: RCOM and Reliance Jio had signed a deal in January to share 4G bandwidth in 17 circles using the 800MHz band. Additionally, Reliance Jio was also said to buy spectrum from RCOM in 9 circles for its impending 4G LTE roll-out. The  DoT had approved  deal between the two telcos last month.

 

Reliance Ultraband: RCOM had introduced its fiber line Internet service Reliance Ultraband in April this year, providing speeds of up to 1Gbps, according to this Telecomtalk report. Currently, the service is available for users in the Navi Mumbai and Tardeo areas of Mumbai. User can register here to avail their new service.

Also Read: 3G now accounts for over 62% of RCOM’s data users

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