RCom must pay $986m to liberalize spectrum: report

13 Jan 2016

India's telecom ministry has reportedly instructed Reliance Communications to pay 65.9 billion rupees ($986 million) if it wishes to liberalize spectrum holdings in 20 circles to allow them to be traded or sold.

The department has formulated a figure that covers the market price of the spectrum as well as a one-time spectrum charge of around 1.57 billion rupees, the Economic Times reported.

Reliance Communications (RCom) has applied to liberalize its 800-MHz spectrum holdings in 20 of India's 22 telecom circles, but has not yet received a quote for the four circles where a market-determined price for the spectrum is not available.

According to the report, RCom is seeking to free up the spectrum so that it can enter a spectrum sharing and trading agreement with Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Reliance Jio is the 4G start-up controlled by Reliance Industries. RCom is owned by Anil Ambani while Reliance Industries is owned by his brother Mukesh.

The planned spectrum sharing agreement would mark the latest example of the two companies collaborating to share infrastructure and other assets.

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