HOME > BUSINESS > Reliance Jio wins against Bharti Airtel, Vodafone in TRAI spectrum auction recommendations

Reliance Jio wins against Bharti Airtel, Vodafone in TRAI spectrum auction recommendations

traiOne of the most keenly fought battles during the Telecom Regulatory Authority’s consultation over upcoming spectrum auction has been won by Reliance Jio. On the losing side are India’s top two operators — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone.

The battle was on the question of whether or not Reliance Jio should be allowed to top up its 2300 MHz 4G spectrum in the upcoming auction.

The 2300 MHz band is the primary band of 4G services in India.

It is used by Reliance Jio across India, and by Bharti Airtel in eight circles. Due to the greater spectrum alloted (15 MHz vs 5 MHz), this band technically provides three times the download capacity compared to the competing band of 1800 Mhz (used by Idea).

If Jio could buy another small chunk of this, it could increase its network capacity by 50%.

The TRAI recommendation is also good news for Aircel Cellular, which has now gained an upper hand in its spectrum trading negotiations with Bharti.

MINIMUM BID SIZE

The fight boiled down to what should be the minimum bid size in this band.

If the minimum bid quantity was to kept at 20 MHz — as it was earlier — then Jio will not be able to bid as it already held 20 MHz out of the total 60 MHz available in the band. Under Indian rules, no operator can own more than 50% of the spectrum in any band, and Jio buying another 20 MHz would have violated this rule.

Not surprisingly, therefore, the other operators were unified in their stance that minimum bid size be kept at 20 MHz.

However, Jio argued that the particular reason for keeping the bid size at 20 MHz — avoiding wastage through splintering of spectrum — was no longer valid because of technological developments.

It argued that if the adjacent 4G networks were ‘synchronized’ with each other, there would be no wastage of spectrum even if sold in 10 MHz chunks.

Others, including Bharti Airtel, opposed this view.

In fact, Airtel’s opposition showed that it was willing to give up a chance to top up its own holdings in the band from 20 MHz to 30 MHz in eight circles in return for the guarantee that Jio will not be able to bid against it in the remaining 14 circles.

However, TRAI has decided to go with Reliance’s argument. In its recommendations, it said:

“If the network clocks of adjacent networks in 2300 and 2500 MHz bands are synchronised and all TSPs operating in these bands using the same frame structure, there will be no need for any guard band.”

In addition, TRAI also pointed out that using new technologies like carrier aggregation, companies can combine a small bit of 10 MHz with their existing allocation in other bands to enhance capacity.

Idea, for example, has zero allocation in 2300, but lots of it in 1800.

“With the technological development, TSPs are able to provide services using same technology by using multiple bands (800 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2300 MHz etc). Lower frequency bands are primarily used for the coverage purpose while higher frequency bands such as 2300 or 2500 MHz bands are mainly used for capacity enhancement. Therefore, TSPs having spectrum in other bands may like to have a smaller block of 2300/2500 MHz band for capacity augmentation.”

In addition, TRAI was also cognizant of the fact that bidding is likely to be more ‘productive’ (as far as the rise in prices are concerned) if existing players like Jio are allowed in.

“A block size of 10 MHz in these bands will help to enhance competition as existing licensees having spectrum in 2300/ 2500 MHz bands will also be able to take part in the auction. As mentioned above that in case of synchronised TDD operation, it is feasible to allot spectrum in blocks of 10MHz.”

IMPACT ON BHARTI AIRTEL-AIRCEL SPECTRUM DEAL

The immediate impact of TRAI recommendations, which are unlikely to be overturned by the Department of Telecom, is that it has increased the attractiveness of Aircel’s spectrum in eight service areas.

Aircel has been trying to sell its spectrum in these circles, primarily to Bharti Airtel. However, valuations have been a point of friction. Airtel was wondering if it wouldn’t be cheaper to buy the spectrum it needs in these eight circles from the auction instead of from Aircel.

With the TRAI recommendation being what it is, Airtel is unlikely to be able to get this spectrum at cheap rates from the auction due to the presence of Jio.

IMPACT ON VODAFONE

Another player strongly impacted is Vodafone, which was also planning to try its luck in the band. The company even made a counter comment against Jio’s suggestion of a 10 MHz slot.

On a 10 MHz network, “operators will not be able to provide users with significant improvement in user experience over that can be delivered over 3G and hence will not be encouraged to deploy in this spectrum. Further, the need for new radio and synchronisation solutions will make deployment in 10 MHz of TDD spectrum less attractive to operators,” it said.

However, if Bharti ends up buying Aircel’s spectrum, it will have 2300 airwaves in 16 out of the 22 circles in India. In these 16 circles, there is a chance that it may not bid for any more of the spectrum, which could help Vodafone snap up a 10 MHz chunk in these areas. Without the Aircel deal, it would have had to go head to head with Bharti in eight of these sixteen circles.

Finally, the increasing competition in the 2300 band is likely to force Vodafone to look at alternate bands such as 2500 or 700.

Follow ULTRA.news
JIO Wallet Offers: Paytm, Amazon, PhonePe give cashback on 399 recharge Wallet players like Paytm, Mobikwik, PhonePe and AmazonPay have come up with cash back offers for Reliance Jio users who want to take advantage of the Rs 399 recharge scheme valid till today midnight.Last week, India's largest wireless Internet provider said anyone rechargin...
The Economics of Bharti Airtel’s 7777 offer on the iPhone 8 Bharti Airtel announced that it will sell high-end smartphones online with instant financing.The phones, including the iPhone 8, will be available at low downpayment and bundled monthly packages, which will make them more or less free of charge.The model was first tried...
Bharti Airtel merges Ghana arm with Tigo of Millicom Bharti Airtel said it is merging its operations in the African nation of Ghana with the local unit of Millicom International Cellular."Under the joint agreement, Airtel and Millicom will have equal ownership (50:50) and governance rights in the combined entity, which will ha...
Reliance Jio’s New 4G Plans: No More Tariff Increases? Jio's new 4G tariff from Oct 19Reliance Jio has unveiled a set of new plans that will come into effect from tomorrow, effecting a price increase of about 15% to existing tariff.The phrasing of the new plans also suggests that these are 'regular' plans, and not promotiona...
Reliance Jio to withdraw Rs 399 plan next week Most customers of Reliance Jio, the country's largest telecom operator by volumes, will not be able to get the 84GB-for-399 plan starting next month, the company's deputy chief financial officer V Srikant said on Friday.Asked how the company's average revenue per user (billi...
Surprisingly, Reliance Jio is already profitable at PAT level Reliance Jio has reported revenue of Rs 7,213 cr, including GST, and an operating profit of Rs 261 cr for the second quarter of the financial year.However, after deducting costs related to the wear and tear of its machines, Reliance Jio reported a pretax loss of 414 cr. This...
Reliance Jio breaks even on opg level, 9.62 GB avg consumption per month Reliance Jio has reported revenue of Rs 7,213 cr and an operating profit of Rs 261 cr for the second quarter of the financial year.Per capita data consumption was 9.62 GB per user per month.Average voice consumption was 626 minutes per month during the period, it added. ...
BSNL to increase minimum broadband speed to withstand Jio Fiber Existing BSNL plansState-owned telecom provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd will increase the speed cap on all its DSL and Fiber broadband plans to 10 Mbps. At present, most plans have a speed cap of 4 Mbps.However, higher speeds will be available only in areas which are re...
Tata Tele acquisition good for Bharti Airtel – Fitch Bharti Airtel Limited's (BBB-/Stable) announcement that it plans to acquire the consumer mobile operations of Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd (Tata Telecom business) is positive for the deal participants as well as the industry, Fitch Ratings said....
Reliance Jio quarterly numbers to be announced today; new tariff plans eyed Reliance Industries, the parent of telecom operator Jio, will announce its quarterly performance numbers at around 5 pm today.Besides its core oil and gas business, the company will give an update on the operations of its telecom unit.Some in the market even expect it t...
Tata Teleservices to merge mobile business with Bharti Airtel Bharti Airtel Limited, India’s largest telecommunications services provider and Tata, India’s leading conglomerate, today announced that they have entered into an understanding to merge Consumer Mobile Businesses (CMB) of TTSL and TTML into Bharti Airtel.The move is likely ...
Reliance Jio to launch new plans on Thursday, offers 100% cashback Reliance Jio, India's most popular wireless data provider, said it will introduce new plans from Oct 19, and that it was offering "100%" cashback on its popular recharge of Rs 399 that gives three months of services.In a promotion put up on its website, the company said the ...
Airtel counters JioPhone with smartphone at Rs 1,399 net price Bharti Airtel has announced a scheme to offer a 4-inch smartphone at an effective price of Rs 1,399 -- after cash backs -- to take on the challenge posed by Reliance Jio's Jiophone.The customer needs to make a down payment of Rs 2899 for the 4G smartphone. He will get a cash...
Idea, Airtel offer 84 GB 4g data for Rs 400 to target users Airtel PlansIdea Cellular and Bharti Airtel are offering 1 GB of 3G or 4G data per day for 84 days at a price of around Rs 400 in select circles, including voice benefits, matching Jio's lowest tariff.The offer is available only for targeted users.For example, for so...
To arrest subscriber decline, Idea offers 84 GB, on-net calls for 230 rupees Idea Cellular, the third largest telecom operator in India by revenue, has started offering new customers 84 GB and free on-net calls for 84 days for just Rs 230 in the Kerala circle.Similar schemes are likely to have been launched in other circles as well.It also offers ...
Idea Cellular offers 28 GB 3G/4G data for Rs 250 Idea Cellular, which has been under pressure in recent months due to aggressive offerings from rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, has unveiled a new promotional offer that gives 1 GB per day for 28 days at a price of around Rs 250.Unlike other plans, this one does not off...
RCom likely to shut more 2G, 3G networks, sell the spectrum Reliance Communications, which announced it was abandoning plans to merge with Aircel Cellular, indicated that it would focus on two segments - 4G and wired. Within wired, it would focus on enterprise services.The disclosure indicates that the company, -- which recently shut ...
JIO IMPACT: India mobile data usage up 500%, price down 97% in 1 year The average data consumed by wireless users in India has increased five fold in the last year one year, even as prices crashed by 97% due to the launch of Reliance Jio.For India as a whole, the total consumption of wireless data touched 4.3 bln GB in the three months from Ap...
Idea Cellular expects 7-fold increase in data consumption in one year Idea Cellular, one of India's top telecom companies, is working with the assumption that its users will increase their data consumption from the present level of around 2.2 GB per month per head to 15 GB per month by next year, CEO Himanshu Kapania said."Idea is planning on ...
Reliance Jio, Vodafone & Airtel conducting pre-5G trials – ZTE All three of India's top mobile networks -- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio -- are currently conducting trials of a key 5G technology that makes use of a very high number of antennas to increase the capacity of the network, David An, the technology head of ZTE said toda...
Indian satellite broadband could become cheap next year as capacity doubles GSAT-19 | ISRO India is likely to see a massive increase in the amount of satellite broadband connectivity, including that for hand-held devices, over the coming months with the operationalization of three new satellites, AS Kiran Kumar, secretary to the department of space said...
Reliance Jio to tie-up with Den Networks for fiber launch? A day after Reliance Industries said it would not comment on media speculation about acquisition talks with Den Networks, the cable company has issued a largely identically worded statement. However, the statement seemed to indicate the possibility of a tie-up or agreement rathe...
Is Reliance Jio about to acquire Den Networks? Reliance Industries refused to deny or confirm media reports about its telecom unit Jio being in talks to acquire cable operator Den Networks.Shares of Den Networks, one of India's largest cable networks, are up 6.2%, having opened higher on the news."We are unable to co...
TRAI forcing the shut down of 2G networks – Idea Cellular CEO Idea Cellular CEO Himanshu Kapania said sector regulator TRAI was forcing telecom operators to shut down their older networks as it pushes for the adoption of newer technologies, seeking urgent intervention from the government.Kapania said the move towards phasing out of old...
Vodafone to credit Rs 50 per month for Intex 2G phone users Vodafone said it will offer Rs 50 per month in extra talk-time for people using any Intex 2G-only feature phone, provided they top-up by Rs 100 or more per month.The offer will work for 18 months. However, Vodafone said the offer is valid only till 31st October, which could ...