24 March 2017 Current Affairs: Bharti Airtel on has acquired 4G business of Tikona Networks including the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) business and 350 sites across 5 circles of Tikona Digital for Rs 1600 crore.
Currently, Tikona has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles.
With this acquisition, Airtel will be second company after Reliance Jio to have pan-India presence in 2300 Mhz band. The 2300 Mhz band has second largest ecosystem of 4G devices.
The acquisition of the 4G business in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Himachal Pradesh will be undertaken by Airtel, while in the Rajasthan circle, it will be accomplished through Airtel's subsidiary Bharti Hexacom Limited.
Post-acquisition, Airtel will roll-out its high speed 4G services on the newly acquired spectrum in the five circles. The combined spectrum holding of Airtel in these five circles will be within the spectrum caps prescribed by the government.
Post the completion of the deal, Airtel will have 30 MHz in the 2300 MHz band in 13 circles.
This will be Bharti Airtel’s fourth acquisition between March 2016 and March 2017.
In February 2017, Bharti acquired Telenor India for Rs 1600 crore, which strengthened its spectrum holding in the seven circles of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam.
Earlier, Bharti had acquired 2300 MHz spectrum from Qualcomm in 2012, Augere Wireless in 2015 and Aircel in 2016.
In 1800 MHz, it acquired spectrum from Videocon Telecommunications in 2016.