Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile service operator today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a substantial stake of 49% in Qualcomm Asia Pacific (India) , which has emerged as a successful bidder in the 4 circles of the auction for 4G Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Spectrum conducted by the DoT in June 2010.
Airtel has 4G BWA license and spectrum in 4 circles – Kolkata, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab and launched its commercial 4G Broadband services in Kolkata and Bangalore (Karnataka) as we earlier shared on TelecomTalk, now can offer the same 4G BWA services in Mumbai, Delhi, Kerala and Haryana where in Qualcomm holds 4G spectrum and license.
Under the agreement, Bharti has made an initial investment of approximately USD 165 million to acquire 49 percent stake in Qualcomm AP’s India, partly by way of acquisition of 26 percent equity interest equally held by Global Holding Corporation Private Limited and Tulip Telecom Limited, and the balance by way of subscription of fresh equity in those 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.
Commenting on the partnership Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said, “We are delighted to partner with Qualcomm, who shares our commitment to the Government’s agenda of broadband for all. This partnership will combine the strength of Bharti’s national telecom footprint and Qualcomm’s technological leadership in the LTE TDD space. With a broadband ready network across India, Bharti is well positioned to lead the next phase of Indian’s telecom revolution.”