Overnight Wire: India plans mega spectrum auction

Staff writer
telecomasia.net

India planning major 2G, 3G, 4G spectrum auction

India's telecom ministry is comparing to conduct a major auction of 2G, 3G and 4G spectrum by June or July. The Economic Times reports that the government plans to auction spectrum in seven frequency bands including the prized 700-MHz wavelength. The regulator will also auction spectrum in the 800-MHz, 1800-MHz, 2100-MHz, 2300-MHz and 2500-MHz bands. But the process could prove contentious among operators, who have already objected to the  high reserve prices for some of the bands proposed by regulator Trai on the grounds that they are expensive and unaffordable.

SKT rivals redouble objection to proposed CJH takeover

SK Telecom's rivals have redoubled their opposition to the operator's proposed takeover of cable TV operator CJ Hellovision. South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) held a second consultation on the proposed merger on Wednesday, the Korea Times said. During the event officials from KT and LG U+ called the proposed deal “collusion”. Representatives also argued that it would run counter to the ministry's efforts to revitalize the telecom industry on the grounds that a merger would be anti-competitive. SK Telecom is pursuing the merger as part of efforts to establish a converged media platform.

South Korea halts plans to issue fourth mobile license

The South Korean government will put a hold on plans to allocate a fourth mobile license following another failed attempt at finding a qualified bidder. Last month the government rejected all three applicants for the mobile license on the grounds that they did not meet the necessary financial requirements, marking the seventh failed attempt to find a qualified company. But while the government has decided to stop taking applications for a fourth mobile operator, a spokesperson for the government said this decision is not final, the Korea Times said.

Dtac to spend heavily to maintain revenue market share

Thailand’s Dtac is implementing measures to maintain its revenue market share until the expiry of its 2G and 3G concessions in 2018 and the next round of spectrum auctions. These stopgap measures include accelerating its mobile network, as well as giving away free 3G and 4G smartphones and other marketing strategies, the Bangkok Post said. The company has set aside 70 billion baht ($1.96 billion) to fund the rapid expansion of its 4G network, and plans to spend about 20 billion baht of it this year. The company has acknowledged that its failure to secure a 4G license in the recent hotly competitive 4G auctions is a key motivating factor for the new strategy.

Airtel's major shareholder plans to buy a controlling stake

Bharti Airtel's major shareholder Bharti Telecom plans to acquire an additional 6% stake in India's largest mobile operator, in a deal which would make Airtel a Bharti Telecom subsidiary, India's Business Standard said. Bharti Telecom is itself 51% owned by the wealthy Mittal family, 40% by Singapore's SingTel and 7% by Singapore state investment vehicle Temasek. The move may be an attempt to stimulate Airtel's share price,which has fallen 11% in the past six months in an Indian stock market that has been harsh on telcom stocks amid fears of unsustainable competition.

Commentary

5G and data center-friendly network architectures

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Rémy Pascal / Analysys Mason

The launch of 5G by South Korean operators serves as a first benchmark for other operators around the world