The Competition Commission of India – CCI has cleared the merger of MTS Sistema with Reliance Communications Ltd. This merger will future-proof RCOM’s 4G LTE play in the most efficient 800/850 MHz spectrum band, acknowledged as the best-in-class standard for data services. With MTS’ merger into RCOM, RCOM will have the largest holdings of 850 MHz band spectrum in the country — most suited for 4G LTE, which is the future — aggregating to nearly 150 MHz. Spectrum valid for 18 years till 2033 (excluding Rajasthan [till 2018]). This extends validity of RCOM spectrum by 12 long years in the above Circles (excluding Rajasthan)
Currently, MTS is Valuable data-heavy business of around 9 million subscribers and Rs 1,500 crore in annual revenues. Existing and running business and assets in 9 key circles with best possible spectrum (850 mhz) for 4G LTE; acquiring 3.75 MHz of highly valuable spectrum in 850 MHZ band in Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, UP (West), Kolkata, West Bengal and Rajasthan.
NO Debt Burden on RCOM
SSTL is paying off all its existing debt on its own prior to Closing. All liabilities left behind with SSTL; nothing whatsoever comes to RCOM except for DoT instalments for spectrum purchased in 2013 auctions to be paid @ Rs 400 crore a year (including interest) for 10 years.
Of the 22 Circles, RCOM now has future-proofed itself and has spectrum for a minimum of 15 years: AS-NE: 800/850 MHz band; Orissa: 1800 Mhz band; & MP-HP: 900 MHz band (all for 20 years); Mum-JK-Bihar-Rajasthan-Punjab: 2100 Mhz band (all for 15 years); 8 Other Circles: 18 years. This additional spectrum also gives RCOM to flexibility to migrate its CDMA customers to LTE (on MTS’ spectrum), while sharing its own 800/850 MHz holdings with Reliance Jio Infocomm.