Bharti Airtel buys 49 percent of Qualcomm’s India business

May 24th, 2012 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) India’s leading telecom service provider Bharti Airtel has acquired 49 percent stake in US-based chipmaker Qualcomm’s broadband wireless access (BWA) entities in India, investing almost $165 million, to expand its high-speed data services.

The company already has BWA licences in four circles - Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra - and 3G licences in thirteen circles in India. Qualcomm has BWA licences in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.

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. The firm is also the first operator to have launched its 4G services in the country. It has launched 4G services in Kolkata and Karnataka.

“Bharti has made an initial investment of approximately $165 million to acquire 49 percent interest in Qualcomm AP’s India entities 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 company said in a statement Thursday.

“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,” it added.

Qualcomm had paid $1 billion to acquire licences in four circles - Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana and Kerala - in the BWA auction held in 2010.

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