Bharti Airtel acquires Aircel’s 4G spectrum in 8 circles

IndiaTimes of India — MUMBAI: Shares of Bharti Airtel today surged by over 4% after the company announced that it will acquire rights to use 4G spectrum of Aircel in eight telecom circles for Rs 3,500 crore. The stock was trading at Rs 348.50 on BSE, up 4.24% from the previous close. On NSE, the shares were trading at 347.20, a rise of 3.77%.

RCom-Aircel extend merger deal talks by 2 months

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Reliance Communications is continuing exclusive talks with the promoters of Aircel on combining their wireless businesses, extending the period by 60 days to May 22 following “good progress made so far.” “The discussions are non-binding in nature. Any transaction is subject to completion of due diligence, definitive documentation and regulatory, shareholders’ and other third-party approvals,” RCom said in a notice to the BSE after the markets closed.

Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, RCom, Tata Tele and Aircel charged with hiding revenue worth Rs 46,000 crore

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: The national auditor alleged that six telecom operators —Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices and Aircel — had collectively understated gross revenue amounting to Rs 46,045.75 crore between 2006-07 and 2009-10, causing a loss of Rs 12,488.93 crore to the national exchequer. The companies rejected the accusation.

RCom, Aircel, SSTL merger may create strong number 4

IndiaTimes of India — KOLKATA: A three-way combination involving telecom operators Reliance Communications, Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Aircel would have an 3G footprint that’s bigger than those of Vodafone and Idea Cellular and a likely 4G presence in eight circles, although a heavy debt burden could cripple the deal, analysts said.

Reliance Comm and Aircel in talks to merge Indian mobile businesses

IndiaChannel News Asia — MUMBAI: Reliance Communications and Aircel have begun talks to combine their wireless telecom operations to create India’s second largest mobile operator as intensifying competition fuels consolidation in a crowded market. The Reliance mobile phone business is India’s fourth-biggest by customer numbers while Aircel ranks fifth. The combined business would surpass Vodafone’s Indian operation as number two in the sector.

Reliance Communications, Aircel and Sistema in talks for three-way merger

IndiaTimes of India — MUMBAI: Reliance Communications, Aircel and Sistema (MTS) have begun initial talks for a three-way merger that could see the emergence of India’s third largest telco by subscribers. The first phase of the broader deal could see MTS merge into RCom through a share-swap arrangement, talks for which are at an advanced stage.

Tech Mahindra bags Aircel’s Internet of Things contract

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Telecom services provider Aircel said it has partnered with IT firm Tech Mahindra to roll out a comprehensive set of Internet of Things (IoT) service offerings. Tech Mahindra will provide the IoT services in association with Aeris Communications, a Silicon Valley-based IoT specialist, a statement said. No financial details were disclosed.

Reliance Jio may push Airtel to buy Aircel spectrum

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel has held initial talks to buy Aircel’s 4G airwaves in the 2300Mhz band as the country’s leading telco looks to expand its high-speed broadband footprint, and close the gap with Reliance Jio Infocomm, which holds pan-India airwaves. While Airtel denied any discussions had taken place and Maxis-owned Aircel said it doesn’t comment on market speculation, three people familiar with the matter said the talks involved Airtel buying Aircel’s 4G bandwidth through the spectrum trading route.

Bharti Airtel under-reported revenue: CAG

IndiaTimes of India — KOLKATA: The national auditor has reportedly alleged that Bharti Airtel had suppressed and under-reported revenue to skirt licence fee and spectrum usage charge (SUC) payouts between April 2006 and March 2010 which led to a revenue loss of around 14,361 crore to the government, a charge that India’s top carrier denied.

Operators Alone Not Responsible For Call Drops – Assocham, from IN

IndiaRTN Asia — Expressing concern over steadily deteriorating situation with regard to call drops in mobile networks, ASSOCHAM today pointed out it is unfair to put the blame on the operators only since many of the critical factors causing the problem are not within the control of the telecom industry.

TRAI: Don’t blame mobile operators for call drops

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: The telecom regulator appears to have absolved telecom companies for the increasing instances of call drops, citing instead radiation fears and local laws as the biggest reasons carriers are unable to put up adequate cell sites, which are key to providing quality services.

Aircel Offers 350 Mins Of Calls Free With 1 Gb Of 2G Data, from IN

IndiaRTN Asia — Aircel Cellular is offering free voice calling on 2G data recharges. In Mumbai circle, for example, anyone who buys 1 GB of 2G data for Rs 195 will get 20,000 seconds of free talk time. In other words, for around 20,000 paise, you get 20,000 seconds of talktime plus 1 GB of data.

Telecom industry seeks revision in mergers and acquisitions policy

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: The telecom industry wants the regulator to take steps to revise the mergers and acquisitions policy to facilitate consolidation in an intensely competitive sector and help cut costs, improve services and reduce debt.

Bharti takes stake in satellite firm OneWeb for $500 million

IndiaTimes of India — LONDON: In a bid to provide affordable internet access to all, Bharti has acquired a minority stake in OneWeb, which plans to offer communication services using satellites by 2019. OneWeb has received $500 million for the project from its investors and plans to launch services by 2019. OneWeb, founded in 2012, is building a communication network with an initial constellation of 648 low earth orbit satellites. Investors in the company include Qualcomm Inc, Virgin Group, Airbus Group and Coca-Cola Company.

Vodafone, Aircel not meeting call drop benchmark: Prasad

IndiaNEW DELHI: Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Vodafone and Aircel are not meeting some benchmarks for call drops in Delhi whereas Airtel and state-run MTNL are within the limits.  “TRAI has reported that MTNL is meeting all the benchmarks for all the network-related parameters for 2G and 3G services … Vodafone and Aircel are not meeting the benchmark of less than or equal to 3% for the parameter worst affected cells having more that 3% traffic channel (TCH) drop,” Prasad said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

Airtel, Idea, RComm earnings may be hit by high spectrum costs

IndiaKOLKATA: Earnings of telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications may take a sharp hit in 2016-17, weighed down by higher amortization and interest costs after buying expensive spectrum, analysts say.  Increased costs, along with a likely delay in the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm’s service, may result in some tariffs going up, they said. Market leader Bharti Airtel’s net profit may dip 8% in the financial year starting April 1, 2016, US brokerage Morgan Stanley estimated, while that of Idea Cellular and RCom are set to decline 27% and 26%, respectively, factoring in higher interest and depreciation outflows.

Telcos join app vendors to optimise smartphone usage, from IN

IndiaNEW DELHI: Top telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea are actively working with mobile application vendors to improve the network performance and experience for smartphone users that will help them retain subscribers and drive data revenue.  Idea Cellular’s chief marketing officer Sashi Shankar and Aircel’s chief technology officer Sameer Dave told ET separately that the companies are in discussions with e-commerce firms and other services that require high traffic and high volume.

Tata Teleservices, Aircel can’t bid for new airwaves: DoT

IndiaNEW DELHI: Tata Teleservices and Aircel — the only two telcos that have declared a negative net worth for next month’s spectrum auctions — are allowed to only top up their existing holdings and can’t bid for new airwaves, the telecom department has said. A senior official of the Department of Telecommunications explained to ET that the auction rules require an operator to have a net worth of at least Rs 100 crore to make it eligible to either expand its geographical coverage or buy airwaves in a new band in circles where it holds spectrum.

Vodafone, Aircel to help speed up village broadband rollout

IndiaNEW DELHI: Mobile phone operators Vodafone India and Aircel have started talks with the government on how to speed up the much delayed national broadband project, which will form the backbone of the Digital India initiative. The government recently set up an expert committee on the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) to suggest ways to fasttrack the project and the best technology options. The panel was also asked to recommend possible business models.

Airtel opens bookings for Xiaomi Redmi Note

NEW DELHI: To give a fillip to its super fast fourth-generation mobile services, Bharti Airtel has tied up with Chinese handset maker Xiaomi to provide 4G device Redmi Note at a price of Rs 9,999 in six cities, including the National Capital.  The operator provides 4G services in 16 cities but Airtel will provide the Redmi Note at 133 stores across Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi-NCR and Kolkata.

Rage against Airtel spills onto social networking sites

BENGALURU: Bharti Airtel was at the receiving end of a brutal backlash on the Internet after it decided to impose special tariff for voice calls made over services like Skype or Viber.  The telecom operator’s decision to charge more for voice services that run using data is being vehemently opposed by consumers, many of whom took to the Internet to vent their anger.

Aircel partners with ASKME to empower SMEs

CHENNAI, INDIA: Aircel, a mobile service provider in India and ASKME a local discovery platform to provide ‘Pay per lead’ generation plan through an operator billing system, entered into partnership with ASKME. The business service will provide SMEs the convenience to pay only for the potential leads, thereby helping SMEs address the challenge of upfront investment for increasing business.

RCom, Tata Teleservices and Aircel ink agreement on 3G roaming

NEW DELHI, INDIA: In a tripartite agreement aimed to provide 3G roaming services to each others customers, telecom operator Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices and Aircel have inked a deal that allows them to use each others network across country. RCom and Aircel have permits for 3G services in 13 out of 22 service areas while Tata Teleservices has permit in 9 circles.