Analysts say Bajpai has been lucky to get 4G spectrum dirt cheap compared to rivals such as Reliance Infotel, which paid $2.7 billion for its pan-India licence. Bajpai paid less than 10 per cent of that (Rs 1,058 crore) to get licences in circles that account for 30 per cent of the population. "Today, 26 per cent of telecom revenues are generated from the five states where Bajpai won bids," says an analyst.
...Bajpai says Tikona will launch 4G services next year. He wants RIL and Bharti to develop the ecosystem of vendors, test the new technology and bring down handset prices. Today, Tikona scores over the others thanks to its experience dealing with broadband customers.
Tikona's average revenue per user is Rs 600 against less than Rs 300 for voice operators. "We are on the way to profitability in the third year itself," says Bajpai. This will be one of the fastest break-evens in the telecom sector (broadband), where companies typically take 12-14 years to break even. However, the 4G rollout will mean an increase in capital expenditure.
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