Telenor may leapfrog to 4G in India

Telenor is considering whether to use the spectrum that it currently holds in India to leapfrog straight from 2G to 4G.

The Scandinavian operator holds spectrum in the 1800MHz band via its Indian unit Uninor, which could use these frequencies to offer 4G services if it wins a unified licence. Operators holding unified licences can use their spectrum to provide services using whichever generation of technology they choose.

Hilde Tonne, executive VP and head of group industrial development at Telenor, said: “We are not there yet, but in the future we believe that this might be possible.”

Other Indian operators are already on the way to providing 4G services. Reliance Jio is planning to launch next year, while Airtel is already offering 4G on its 2.3GHz spectrum. However, if Telenor can avoid paying for a 4G licence, it could significantly undercut its rivals. Having to compete with cheaper tariffs could then instigate a 4G price war.


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