Videocon sits out of spectrum auction to focus on existing areas

21 Jan 2014

Wireless provider Videocon Telecom has opted not to take part in the upcoming spectrum auction, choosing instead to concentrate on improving networks in its current circles and laying the groundwork for a future rollout of Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the 1800MHz band, the Economic Times quotes Videocon director and CEO Arvind Bali as saying. Videocon had considered purchasing additional spectrum to relieve congestion in Punjab but found there were no blocks of spectrum available in the areas needed. Similarly, the operator looked into a potential expansion into the Delhi circle, only to cancel the plans following an analysis of the business prospects, with Bali noting that: ‘a vanilla 2G and 3G [service] on such an expensive spectrum would be challenging, since we also need to acquire customers as well, being a new player.’ The CEO added that the cellco currently has spectrum in three circles – Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West and Bihar – where it has not yet deployed networks: ‘These circles are very big and each requires 15,000 sites to be put there, on which a big customer base could be acquired. Hence, we decided to primarily focus on these circles. In totality, we decided not to focus on spectrum now.’

On the cellco’s plans for 4G the CEO explained that Videocon is planning to deploy Frequency Division Duplex (FDD)-LTE in the 1800MHz band, but is currently held back by the limitations of the ecosystem and its own spectrum holdings. The provider will wait until voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) becomes available, enabling the use of voice and data over the same channel, and will dedicate 5MHz of spectrum to the new technology.

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