In an effort to have a strong footprint in India’s 4G telecom market, telecom major Bharti Airtel has acquired 100 percent stake in Wireless Business Services (WBSPL), a company founded by US chipmaker Qualcomm. WBSPL holds BWA (broadband wireless access) spectrum in four telecom circles which includes Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana and Kerala. By this Airtel will be able to roll-out state-of-the-art 4G networks on LTE TDD technology in this telecom circles.
“completed the acquisition of 100 per cent equity shares of Wireless Business Services Private Limited, which holds BWA Spectrum in the Indian telecom circles of Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana and Kerala“. according to a statement released from Airtel.
Earlier in May 2012, Bharti Airtel acquired 49% stake in Qualcomm Asia Pacific’s (Qualcomm AP) Indian BWA entities. Under that 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 additional 51% stake purchase would have cost Airtel an estimated USD 165 million, or Rs 1,008 crore at the current exchange rate.
Airtel already has BWA licenses in four circles – Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra – and 3G licenses in thirteen circles in India. With this agreement, Airtel has secured a nation-wide broadband leadership through a combination of 4G and 3G, with its own networks in 18 circles. Airtel has already taken the lead in LTE TDD space by launching 4G services in Kolkata, Pune, Chandigarh and Karnataka Circles.