The auction process was always slated to peak out in a day or two with the soaring bids. So, it wasn’t a big surprise to see end of BWA Auction. What was surprising though is the news that pan-India winner of the BWA spectrum, Infotel Broadband, has become an acquisition target.
Yes, it’s none other than Reliance Industries which buys out 95% stake in Infotel Broadband for Rs.4800 crore. In my very previous post on the update on the BWA auction, I had expressed my surprise as to how Infotel has emerged as an exclusive all-India winner of BWA spectrum in all the 22 circles.
However, let me take this opportunity to say that, now it comes as a ‘No Surprise’ to me that Infotel has gained access as a sole bidder with pan-India presence with the strong backing of Reliance Industries. In fact, as per a speculation in a report, Reliance itself could have funded the costs related to broadband spectrum fees for bids put in by Infotel.
RIL was in constant news and rumours, among the media circles, since the last fortnight about its foray into newer businesses after entering into an environment of harmony with the Anil Ambani-led ADAG. Finally, India’s biggest private sector company seems to have zeroed on to re-enter the world of telecom.
Now, take this! Mukesh Ambani has said:
“We see this as the next wave of value creation opportunity in the wireless broadband space. We believe this will pole-vault India’s economy into the digital world at an accelerated pace while creating next generation tools that will enhance productivity and create world-class consumer experiences.”
Is this pointing out towards more intense competition in the depressed sector of telecom? Or, In fact, does it indicate that the consolidation in the sector is likely to speed-up as stronger players with deep pockets are keen to make a beeline for the upcoming next generation technology?
It is still to be determined as to how deep is Reliance planning to enter into the telecom industry. However, sources say that the company could use the spectrum to offer the premium 4G services going forward.
Finally, are you ready for the next round of Telecom battle between Ambani vs. Ambani?