Bharti Airtel has purchased a 49% stake in Qualcomm’s Indian BWA Venture
for US$165 million. The partners plan to roll out TDD-LTE networks in
Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala, the four circles where Qualcomm
holds BWA licenses. The deal will enable Bharti to establish broadband
footprint across India. The Indian operator already operates TDD-LTE
networks in Kolkata and Karnataka Circles.
Bharti Airtel Limited (“Bharti”), a leading global telecommunications
company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, and
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM; “Qualcomm”), the world leader in
3G and next-generation mobile technologies, today announced that they
have signed an agreement for Bharti to acquire an interest in Qualcomm
Asia Pacific’s (Qualcomm AP) Indian BWA entities.
Under the agreement, Bharti has made an initial investment of
approximately USD 165 million to acquire 49 percent interest in
Qualcomm AP’s India entities that hold BWA licenses in Delhi, Mumbai,
Haryana and Kerala - 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.
Bharti already has BWA licenses in four circles - 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.
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
“One of our key objectives 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,” said Dr Paul E Jacobs, chairman and CEO of
Qualcomm. “GHC and Tulip have been great partners in facilitating this
transaction. Qualcomm remains dedicated to the continued progress and
success of the BWA venture and to fulfilling our commitment as a key
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.
About Bharti Airtel Limited
Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading integrated telecommunications
company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.
Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 5
mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India,
the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G services, fixed
line, high speed broadband through DSL, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services
including national & international long distance services to
carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G mobile
services. Bharti Airtel had over 253 million customers across its
operations at the end of April 2012. To know more please visit, www.airtel.com
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is the world leader in 3G and
next-generation mobile technologies. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm
ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital
communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information,
entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s
website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.