Vodafone India has acquired spectrum in 12 telecom circles in the March 2015 spectrum auction for a total cost of INR 258.1 billion (£2.78 billion)
Vodafone India successfully bought spectrum in all six of its 900 MHz circles due for extension in December 2015. Significantly expanding its 3G capabilities, Vodafone India acquired 5 MHz of 900 MHz band spectrum in Odisha and added a further 30 MHz of spectrum in the 2100 MHz band in six new circles.
Vodafone India has also bought an additional 5.6 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum in three circles to complement the 49 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum acquired in the February 2014 auction.
With the new and existing spectrum, Vodafone India will be able to expand its 3G service over its own network from 9 circles to 16 circles. These circles in total represent 88% of Vodafone India’s service revenues.
Vodafone has emerged from the auction in a stronger competitive position in the Indian market. In addition to buying spectrum in all its key circles that were under auction, Vodafone has acquired new 3G spectrum which will enable the company to increase further the number of Indian customers benefiting from high speed data services.
Marten Pieters, Managing Director & CEO, Vodafone India said:
“With the spectrum acquired in this auction, we have ensured the continuity of our business and increased our capability to provide high speed 3G coverage to more areas. Vodafone has committed a total of approx. INR 258 billion in this auction. This is on top of INR 750 billion we have already invested in the last five years. We will continue to invest in building our network in the coming years to harness the potential of the spectrum won. We remain committed to providing seamless connectivity and superior communication services to our customers and will expand our 3G service from 9 to 16 circles. We hope that in future, the government will ensure adequate spectrum is made available to achieve the vision of Digital India.”
In the auction, Vodafone India acquired a total of 78.4 MHz comprising:
- 42.8 MHz in the 900 MHz band in Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (East) and West Bengal.
- 5.6 MHz in the 1800MHz band in Gujarat, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh (East).
- 30.0 MHz in the 2100MHz band in Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, North East, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (West).
Vodafone’s investment totals INR 258.1 billion (£2.78 billion) of which INR 68.2 billion (£733 million) is payable shortly, with the remainder payable in 10 equal annual instalments starting in two years. The spectrum won has a 20 year term.
In February 2014, Vodafone India acquired spectrum in 11 telecom circles – a total of 23 MHz in the 900 MHz band in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, and a total of 49 MHz in the 1800 MHz band in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, UP East, Rajasthan, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. The spectrum has a 20 year term.
Vodafone India has the largest voice and data traffic usage within the Vodafone Group. At 31 December 2014, it had 179 million customers, with 59 million data users, of which 17 million use 3G. Average data usage per customer grew by 40% year-on-year.