Internet Service Provider Tikona Digital has raised $171 million from Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an independent US government investment agency, reports Economic Times. MediaNama has written to the company for confirmation and will update the story once they respond. Tikona plans to use the fresh funds for rolling our 4G-based broadband services across the country, added the report.
The company had earlier secured $45 million in November 2014 from International Finance Corporation, Goldman Sachs, Oak Investment Partners, Everstone Capital Advisors and L&T Infrastructure Finance Co Ltd.
Note that Tikona had announced in October 2015 that it would launch 4G broadband plans in 30 cities by first half of 2016 but currently runs a pilot project in Varanasi for home and enterprise users. The company has 20 MHz of broadband spectrum in 5 telecom circles including Gujarat, UP-East, UP-West, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, for which it had paid Rs 1,058 crore during the 2010 Broadband Wireless Auctions.
The broadband provider currently has operations in 23 cities and had earlier phased out operations in 13 cities in December 2012. It offers home-based broadband services up to a maximum speed of 10 Mbps as well enterprise broadband and managed bandwidth services through the acquisition of HCL Infinet in 2011.
There is no data about the number of users currently using Tikona’s services. The company however plans to compete with smaller broadband providers such as Hathway, Tata Teleservices, according to officials who spoke to ET. Note that Airtel is currently in the process of rolling out its fiber Internet services, while new entrant Reliance Jio has also been reportedly piloting fiber Internet services in Mumbai, gearing up for full-fledged launch.
According to TRAI’s recent telecom subscription numbers , the top five Wired Broadband Service providers incudes BSNL (9.94 million), Airtel (1.95 million), ACT Fibernet (1.12 million), MTNL (1.06 million) and YOU Broadband (0.59 million) as of October 2016.