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Friday, May 25, 2012

Bharti Airtel acquires Qualcomm AP for N257.4bn, expands 4G roll-out

Bharti Airtel has acquired a 49 per cent interest in Qualcomm Asia Pacific’s (Qualcomm AP)’s India BWA entities to spur partnership for the roll-out of state-of-the-art fourth generation (4G) networks on Long Term Evolution-Time Division Duplex (LTE-TDD) technology in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala, for $165m, about N257,400,000.00 billion.
Bharti equally said the deal would boost its establishment of broadband footprint across India.
Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, said, the world leader in 3G and next-generation mobile technologies, Qualcomm, has signed an agreement for Bharti to acquire an interest in Qualcomm Asia Pacific’s (Qualcomm AP) Indian BWA entities.
ITRealms Online gathered that under the agreement, Bharti has made an initial investment of approximately USD 165 million to acquire 49 per cent interest in Qualcomm AP’s India entities that hold BWA licenses in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.
This entails that by way of acquisition of 26 per cent 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. 
Further outline of the agreement shows that Bharti already has BWA licenses in four circles, namely Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra and 3G licenses in thirteen circles in India.
“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 has already taken the lead in LTE TDD space by launching 4G services in Kolkata and Karnataka Circles,” he said.
Mr. Bharti-Mittal, says the company is delighted to partner with Qualcomm, who shares same 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,” he said. 
Chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm, Dr Paul E Jacobs, noted that one of the key objectives for Qualcomm has been to include a strong partner in the Indian venture with the scale, experience and resources to deploy LTE TDD networks.
“We are pleased to have Bharti’s participation and support in this effort,” he said, adding that GHC and Tulip have been great partners in facilitating this transaction, hence, Qualcomm remains dedicated to the continued progress and success of the BWA venture and to fulfilling its commitment as a key equity stakeholder. 
ITRealms Online investigation shows that Qualcomm expects to provide technical assistance to Bharti in connection with network architecture and optimization, infrastructure and device testing, as well as continuing to develop and support the underlying technology and the LTE TDD ecosystem.

Remmy Nweke

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