Tikona-Airtel deal will cause a loss of Rs 217 crore: Mukesh Ambani
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has alleged that rival telecom firm Airtel’s proposed acquisition of Tikona will cause a Rs 217 crore loss to exchequer if the spectrum that the internet service provider holds is used to make voice calls.
Jio asked the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to not approve the acquisition unless Airtel pays for converting the BWA or broadband spectrum from ISP license to Unified license that will allow use of airwaves for any purpose – be it data transmission or making voice calls.
In a three-page letter, it alternatively suggested that Jio should be refunded Rs 1,658 crore fee it had paid in 2013 for migrating its broadband wireless access spectrum (BWA) to unified license. This, it said, was essential to give all players a level playing field.
When contacted, an Airtel spokesperson said, “Bharti Airtel has always been and will continue to be fully compliant with all regulatory guidelines. We strongly deny these allegations, which is yet another mischievous attempt to throttle/block competition.”
At present, any Internet Services Provider or ISP with BWA spectrum can only provide data services to customers and not voice services.
If under any scheme, whether merger or otherwise, such BWA spectrum of an ISP is proposed …read more