With impending threat from the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm, industry leader and India’s only integrated Telecommunications Service Provider made aggressive moves to acquire spectrum from Videocon and later from Aircel to rollout and stabilize 4G LTE Networks in coherence with existing 2G Voice and 3G Mobile Data Network. These deals and Jio RCOM spectrum trading / sharing deals have resulted in spectrum assets starting to be consolidated in the hands of the top four.
Tata’s 8o0MHz Spectrum could be the next target
Industry Analysts suggest that Tata’s 800MHz band spectrum could be the next potential target. Even though Tata does not have contiguous 5MHz in many circles, telcos could make contiguous blocks by frequency swapping. This spectrum is the most valuable band to roll out 4G LTE mobile broadband services in the current ecosystem.
Tata had a total debt Rs420bn as of end-FY15 (two thirds of this in TTSL and the rest in TTML, the two-circle operation). Though Tata’s revenue has been stagnant around Rs120-Rs130bn, its restructuring efforts are likely to improve Ebitda to Rs25bn in FY16. Tata’s stake sale in Viom would bring its debt down to Rs350bn. Tata also has attractive fibre assets. All this would keep major telcos interested.