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    Default Bharti buys 49 per cent in Qualcomm BWA unit for $165 million

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    Bharti Airtel, on Thursday, announced a Rs.922 crore ($165 million) deal with Qualcomm Asia Pacific, a move that will help the telecom operator establish a stronghold in the fast-growing high speed internet services.

    The Bharti Group firm has acquired 49 per cent stake in Qualcomm Asia Pacific's Indian broadband wireless access (BWA) entities with licences to offer 4G data services in four circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.

    Bharti Airtel would complete ownership of Qualcomm AP's Indian entities by 2014, according to the agreement signed here.

    “The agreement contemplates that once the 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,” the company said in a statement.

    The Rs.71,450 crore company (revenue) with a subscriber base of 25 crore had bagged BWA licences in four circles — Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra — on its own. It has already launched the high speed data services in Kolkata and Bangalore.

    Bharti Airtel will buy 26 per cent stake in Qualcomm AP from Global Holding Corporation and Tulip Telecom (13 per cent) and the balance 23 per cent by subscribing to fresh equity of Qualcomm.

    Global Holding Corporation and Tulip Telecom had bought 13 per cent stake each in the BWA entities for $57.72 million (about Rs.268 crore) in 2010. “This partnership will combine the strength of Bharti's national telecom footprint and Qualcomm's technological leadership in the LTE TDD (4G) space. With a broadband ready network across India, Bharti is well positioned to lead the next phase of Indian's telecom revolution,” Bharti Airtel Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Bharti Mittal said.
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