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Bharti Airtel jumps on acquiring substantial spectrum in auction

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Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio to share infrastructure
Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio to share infrastructure

Bharti Airtel jumped 3.5% to Rs 313.20 at 9:41 IST on BSE after the company said it has acquired 115.0 MHz spectrum for a total consideration of Rs 18530 crore in the just concluded spectrum auction conducted by the Government of India.

The company made the announcement after market hours on Thursday, 13 February 2014.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 3.98 points or 0.02% at 20,189.37.

On BSE, so far 1.13 lakh shares were traded in the counter as against average daily volume of 4.67 lakh shares in the past two weeks.

The stock hit a high of Rs 317.50 and a low of Rs 302.60 so far during the day.

Bharti Airtel said it will make an upfront payment of Rs 5425 crore, with the balance to be paid in ten annual installments of Rs 1310 crore each, commencing two years from now, the company said.

Bharti Airtel said that the company’s spectrum acquisition is in line with its strategy of building a robust network of the future and enhancing its leadership position in the fast growing data segment.

The company plans to roll-out high speed 4G networks in various circles using FD-LTE technology in the 1800 MHz band besides its existing TD-LTE roll-out in the 2300 MHz band, giving it a pan-India 4G footprint, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

Bharti Airtel complimented DoT and TRAI on the successful outcome of the auction. It said that the auction has lent credence to the industry’s position that reasonable reserve prices ensure successful auctions, while high reserve prices are counterproductive. It added that in most circles the auction in 1800 MHz showed a balanced approach between the revenue for the exchequer and industry viability due to ample spectrum being put up for auctions. However, the auction in 900 MHz band resulted in artificial and unrealistic prices on account of shortage of spectrum and the unenviable position of the incumbents who were forced to bid for this spectrum to protect the interest of their customers and the huge investments made by them, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

Bharti Airtel’s consolidated net profit surged 115.1% to Rs 610.20 crore on 13.3% growth in net sales to Rs 21938.50 crore in Q3 December 2013 over Q3 December 2012.

Bharti Airtel is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 20, 30 and 40 wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 287 million customers across its operations at the end of December 2013.

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