Bharti Airtel buys Videocon's spectrum for Rs4,428 crore

Bharti Airtel today said it has signed a definitive agreement with Videocon Telecommunications Ltd (VTL) to acquire its spectrum in five circles, hours after a similar deal with Idea Cellular fell through.

Bharti Airtel, the country's largest telecom operator, will acquire 5 MHz of spectrum in 1,800 MHz across five circles for Rs4,428 crore. The company will acquire the spectrum in Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West) and Gujarat.

The spectrum, currently held by VTL, was allotted on 5 April 2013 and is valid up to 18 December 2032, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of the standard conditions (including Spectrum Trading Guidelines), as are normal to such transactions.

Shares in Bharti Airtel were trading up 2.44 per cent at Rs347.95 and those of Videocon Industries, the parent company of VTL, were up 5.21 per cent at Rs115.10.

Late on Wednesday evening, Idea Cellular and Videocon Telecommunications terminated a spectrum trading agreement worth Rs3,310 crore, signed in November, the telecom industry's first deal. The companies did not give any reasons for the termination of the deal.

The companies were yet to inform the transfer to licensor, the Department of Telecommunications. Also, there is no cost implication to Idea Cellular on termination of the aforesaid agreement, the Aditya Birla Group said in a statement.

Idea Cellular, meanwhile, continues to aggressively launch its high speed mobile broadband 4G LTE services.

On Thursday, Idea launched its 4G LTE services in the 10th telecom service area of Maharashtra & Goa, from Nagpur city.

On 24 November, GSM operator Idea Cellular signed an agreement with Videocon Telecommunications to acquire the latter's spectrum in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West) circles for about Rs3,310 crore. The company was to use the spectrum to provide 4G (LTE) services in these circles.

Idea Cellular, which is already a leader in these two circles, would be acquiring 1800 MHz spectrum in these service areas. The Aditya Birla group company will have the right to use spectrum until December 2032.