Bharti Airtel completes Tikona 4G spectrum deal
Bharti Airtel has completed its acquisition of Tikona Digital Networks, giving it access to 4G spectrum and cell sites across five of India's telecoms districts.
In a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange, the company has confirmed that Tikona is now a wholly-owned subsidiary, but due to pending approval from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), it has yet to take ownership of Tikona’s spectrum in the Rajasthan district.
Tikona holds 20MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band across the five districts, as well as 350 cell sites.
The $244 million deal which was announced in March, comes as Bharti attempts to build out its spectrum portfolio. Bharti has been doing much consolidation since the entrance of Reliance Jio Infocomm to the market, which has 4G spectrum in all 22 districts.
Speaking on the acquisition, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO of Bharti Airtel, India and South Asia, said: “Airtel’s continued focus on strengthening its 4G capabilities across multiple spectrum bands will be complemented with the BWA spectrum acquisition from Tikona. We believe that combining our capacities in TD-LTE and FD-LTE will further bolster our network, and help us provide unmatched high-speed wireless broadband experience to our customers. We remain committed to our vision of leading India’s digital revolution by offering world-class and affordable telecom services through a robust spectrum portfolio spread across multiple bands.”
In addition to Bharti’s buyout of Tikona, it recently received the green light from the Competition Commission of India for the ongoing merger between the Indian division of Telenor with Bharti Airtel. Once completed Bharti is set to acquire assets, licenses, 43.4MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band, a customer base of around 40 million and Telenor’s active operations in seven districts.