Idea shareholders approve raising up to Rs10,000 crore for 4G expansion

Himanshu Kapania, managing director, Idea Cellular Idea Cellular, India's third-largest mobile phone operator, on Tuesday said its shareholders have approved a proposal to raise up to Rs10,000 crore to fund the setting up of infrastructure for its fourth-generation telecom services.

The 20th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday approved the proposal to raise the amount through issue of non-convertible securities on private placement basis in one or more tranches.

The company said shareholders have approved all the items of business contained in the notice for AGM.

The Aditya Birla group telecom company on Tuesday said it was setting up infrastructure to launch 4G services in 10 circles by June and said it would soon catch up with operators which had launched the service.

''I want to tell our investors that we are aware of market movements. We may be six months behind who chose to start earlier, but we will be catching up and are deploying 4G infrastructure as fast as we can,'' chief executive officer Himanshu Kapania said during an analyst conference call on Tuesday.

The company's shareholders approved other ordinary businesses like declaring dividend and appointment of director, among others.

Shareholders also approved reappointment of Himanshu Kapania as managing director for another five years from 1 April 2016.

The company, meanwhile, rejected concerns whether it would be able to provide high quality mobile broadband on its existing portfolio of spectrum which includes 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz.

Globally and in India, major operators provide 4G on 2100 MHz band.

''Globally 40 per cent of 4G networks are used on 1800 MHz band. So we will be using 1800 MHz as well as 2100 MHz based on availability of spectrum in circles,'' a top official of the telecom operator said.

Idea Cellular said it will complete the launch of 4G services in 10 circles by June 2016. Idea has 1800 MHz band in these circles, which are Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, north east states, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.