New Delhi: In the thick of controversy surrounding the 2G spectrum allocation, Uninor, a JV between Unitech Wireless and Norway’s Telenor, has approached telecom ministry seeking additional 1.8 Mhz radio waves in eight circles, based on subscriber-linked criteria.
“We have submitted application to DoT seeking additional 1.8 Mhz spectrum on the basis of enhanced subscriber-linked criteria for our GSM-based services in eight circles,” Uninor South Asian head Sigve Brekke said.
Uninor, the brand of the joint venture between the Norwegian Telenor Group and Indian real estate player Unitech, operates in 13 circles and claims to have reached a subscriber base to get 6.2 Mhz of 2G spectrum.
The company has start-up spectrum of 4.4 Mhz allotted at the time of licence in 2008.
Last year, DoT had accepted the recommendation made by telecom regulator Trai to allot additional spectrum on subscriber-base linked criteria.
Uninor has 27 million subscribers and is adding around 16 lakh customers every month. By the year end, it expects to take its base to 30 million plus users and up to 50 million next year, Brekke added.
Uninor is confident of telecom ministry processing its additional spectrum request, saying that it qualifies for the same. “Our eight circles now stand qualified for additional spectrum. We have just pipped one more competitor in West Bengal,” Brekke said.
Though Uninor does not see any consolidation in the Indian market, it has plans to grow organically—that is enhancing the company’s scale of operations. “We want to grow organically and are catching up with our competitors,” he said.
Brekke, however, did not rule out acquisition. “We are open for acquisitions, but that’s not mandatory to make our business profitable. We will look at it if it makes financial sense. For now, our focus is on organic growth or scaling up our operations.”
On profitability, he said, Uninor is eyeing to break even by the first half of 2013.
Uninor holds a pan-India UAS license to offer mobile telephony services in each of India’s 22 circles. It is yet to receive spectrum in some circles including Delhi, J&K, Rajasthan, Assam and North East.
Uninor services are available in the 13 circles of UP (West), UP (East), Bihar, Orissa, Kolkata, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat.