Tikona which has 4G spectrum under 2300Mhz has been approached by Vodafone India. Vodafone has acquired 4G spectrum only on 5 Circles and Tikona has spectrum on another 5 circles, so it is evident that Vodafone India is looking for expansion Pan India.
Vodafone is set to utilize the 1800MHz band to provide its 4G services in Mumbai, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka and Kolkata. Tikona had purchased over Rs 1058 crore worth of airwaves in the 2300Mhz bandwidth back in 2010 for use in UP (East), UP (West), Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. The UK-based brand may buy all of the latter’s spectrum in order to double its coverage.
So far, Vodafone has rolled out its 4G offerings across 10 towns in Kerala. Tikona had previously told the Economic Times that it was planning to launch its LTE services in 30 cities within the first half of 2016. However, a source claims the company had held talks with Airtel to sell its 4G radiowaves in the past.
Apparently, the deal didn’t go through because Tikona wanted more than the Rs 1200 crore Airtel was willing to part with. Another insider asserts that Vodafone is looking to buy into the 2300MHz spectrum as the device ecosystem for the band has improved and expanded greatly. At present, Airtel and Reliance Jio are the only major network players in India to own airwaves in the bandwidth.
Vodafone is also discussing the possibility of buying more 4G spectrum in the 1800MHz band from Videocon Mobiles. However, valuation differences have supposedly stalled talks for now. Notably, Idea Cellular had earlier bought 4G bands from the latter for the Gujarat and UP (West) circles for Rs 3310 crore.
Vodafone buying out the 4G spectrum which Tikona owns would make it more equipped to deal with its competitors. Airtel had started its commercial LTE rollout a few months ago. Reliance Jio began providing the high-speed network only to its employees on December 27, with plans for a full-blown expansion in early 2016.