RCom pays $1.91 billion towards 3G spectrum

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) Monday paid Rs.8,585.04 crore ($1.91 billion) towards spectrum fees to the government to start third generation (3G) telecom services.

RCom is one of the three private telecom operators which won 3G spectrum in 13 service areas, including the most lucrative Mumbai and Delhi circles, in an auction of airwaves that concluded May 19.

‘RCom’s nationwide 3G-ready network offers a number of innovations to its over 102 million customers… RCom won 3G spectrum in all circles where it has 900 MHz spectrum. The 13 circles where it has obtained 3G spectrum include all high growth ‘C’ circles for less than Rs.500 crore,’ the company said in a statement.

This makes RCom the only operator which has pan-India 3G capability in CDMA and among the top three with highest 3G-enabled coverage, the statement added.

The company will have minimal capex investment into 3G network due to its nationwide state-of-the-art GSM network.

It will leverage its media, gaming, cinema and broadcasting capabilities to offer its customers a ‘unique true 3G experience’.

According to the guidelines of Department of Telecommunications (DoT), May 31 is the last date for all telecom firms to make payments for 3G spectrum.

Bharti Airtel, which also won 3G spectrum in 13 circles, has paid Rs.12,295.46 crore ($2.73 billion) to DoT, a company official told IANS.

The third winner, Aircel paid Rs.6,499.46 crore ($1.44 billion). ‘We made payment for the 3G on Friday (May 28),’ a company spokesperson said.

Nine companies — Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Aircel, Etisalat, S Tel and Videocon Telecommunications — participated in the 3G spectrum auction.

However, Etisalat and Videocon could not win a single circle in the auction, which fetched the government Rs.67,718.95 crore ($15 billion).

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