New Delhi: Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s largest telecom services provider, said that it had signed an agreement with US-based Qualcomm Inc. to buy a 49% stake in the latter’s Indian broadband wireless access (BWA) companies for an initial investment of about $165 million.
Under the agreement, Bharti will buy the stake in the companies that hold BWA spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. The transaction includes acquisition of 26% equity held by Global Holding Corp. Pvt. Ltd and Tulip Telecom Ltd. The remaining portion will be acquired by buying new shares in the BWA entities.
“The agreement contemplates that once commercial operations are launched, subject to certain terms and conditions, Bharti would assume complete ownership and financial responsibility for the BWA entities by the end of 2014,” Bharti said in a statement.
BWA spectrum allows a service provider to offer fourth generation or 4G high-speed Internet services based on the TD-LTE (time-division long-term evolution) technology standard.
Bharti has already introduced a LTE-based services in Kolkata and parts of Karnataka, including Bangalore.
The acquisition essentially doubles Bharti’s existing BWA footprint where it has BWA spectrum - Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra, taking the total number of circles to eight.
Bharti also has 3G spectrum in 13 licensing areas in India, apart from 2G services across the country.
“With this agreement, Bharti has secured a nation-wide broadband leadership through a combination of 4G and 3G, with its own networks in 18 circles,” Bharti said.
Bharti to buy 49% in Qualcomm India broadband venture - Corporate News - livemint.com