Info-tech

RCom gearing up to launch 4G services, to bid for spectrum in auctions

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Getting ready: Anil Ambani, Chairman of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, along with wife Tina Ambani and son Jai Anmol Ambani at the AGM of the group in Mumbai on Tuesday. - PAUL NORONHA

Reliance Communications (RCom), the country’s India's fourth-biggest mobile phone operator, is gearing up to launch 4G services in the country, and will bid for spectrum in the next round of auctions.

The company is also looking at reducing debt to below Rs 20,000 crore in the next one year.

“Between 2G, CDMA, GSM and 3G, we are well covered. In 2015-16, we will be participating in the next round of auction and that will enable us to launch 4G services in many circles. That will ensure that our customers have all types of services…,” RCom Chairman Anil Ambani told shareholders at the company’s annual general body meeting here today.

Ambani also said he expects the Government to release 700 Mhz and 800 Mhz spectrum bands over time from the Defence. “We will continue to monitor opportunities in this space,” he said.

For RCom, the capital intensive phase is over, with a large part of it invested for CDMA, GSM and 3G spectrum. However, RCom still needs to invest roughly about Rs 1,000-1,500 crore a year as capex for “sustainable maintenance,” Ambani added.

“A large amount of spectrum investment is already being made, so the company does not see any opportunities or challenges at this stage in investing in more spectrum in the coming years,” he added.

FURTHER DEBT REDUCTION

RCom had earlier raised ₹6,100 crore through the qualified institutional placement route and warrants issued to promoters, which was used to reduce its debt. At present, the company’s debt stands at about ₹35,000 crore.

“We are looking at further reducing debts…. Our aim is to bring it down to below Rs 20,000 crore in the next 24 months,” Ambani added.

Terming DTH and real estate as non-core businesses, Ambani said RCom was looking at monetising both these businesses. On the real estate side, there is an option for a demerger, and since the company had properties across the country, it would require “tremendous” amount of planning.

>rajesh.kurup@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 30, 2014

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