Rcom evaluating options regarding 700 MHz spectrum

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Reliance Communications is evaluating its options regarding in the 700-MHz band, which will be auctioned for the first time in India.

“We are pan-India on 850 MHz but we are still evaluating our options,” Chief Executive Officer (Consumer Business) Gurdeep Singh said when asked if the company would be looking at buying in 700-MHz band.

He said the 700-MHz band currently lacked the device ecosystem and there was a window of three years before the ecosystem can be developed. Asked if the price will act as a deterrent for 700 MHz in auction, Singh said, “It depends on appetite and competition level. Pricing is subject to intensity of bidding. But yes I can say that for anyone to deliver the good high quality indoor penetrating data networks, they need to be on sub 1 Ghz spectrum.”

The base price of the 700-MHz is Rs 11,485 crore per Mhz.

The Anil Ambani-owned firm is also not looking to reduce data tariff anytime as it said customers prefer quality and they have the best network to deliver a superior experience.

“I will stay focused on quality, which is very important. We are not giving data free, we want people to make app-to-app calling,” Singh said.

With the imminent launch of Reliance Jio, the incumbent operators have been cutting down data tariff substantially as they look to retain customers.

“We have the world’s best network, that nobody can match. We are in the mode of acquisition of a large customer base. We believe it is our time to reverse the market share. We will poach, our better network will attract customers automatically. It’s a matter of time as word spreads,” he added.