Bharti Airtel Limited the largest operator in India by subscriber base and third largest operator in the world with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% equity stake in Augere Wireless Broadband India Pvt. Ltd. (“Augere”), which holds 20 MHz of BWA spectrum in the telecom circle of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (MPCG). Upon acquisition, Augere will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Airtel.
The acquisition is subject to necessary statutory and regulatory approvals. The company did not reveal the deal value but it is estimated to be around Rs.150 crores. Earlier this month, Bharti Airtel announced commercial launch of 4G services in 296 towns across India after testing the market in select cities. The telecom company had launched the first 4G network in Kolkata in April 2012.
Airtel had won 20MHz of spectrum in 2300MHz band 40 in the 4 circles of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kolkata and Punjab in the 2010 BWA auctions. Later Airtel acquired 100% stake in Qualcomm India and made it a wholly owned subsidiary which gave it access to 20MHz of spectrum in in 2300MHz band in the 4 circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Haryana. Now with the acquiring of 100% equity stake in Augere wireless, Airtel has gotten access to 20MHz of spectrum in 2300MHz band in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
This brings the total to 9 circles where Airtel has band 40 spectrum, other operators who have spectrum in the same band include Aircel which has spectrum in 8 circles and Tikona which has spectrum in 5 circles. Reliance Jio Infocomm on the other hand is the only operator to have Pan India footprint of liberalised 2300MHz spectrum.