Bharti Airtel has confirmed that it is to buy a 49% stake in Qualcomm’s Indian wireless broadband units for USD165 million. Bharti will acquire a 26% cent stake from Qualcomm’s local partners Global Holding Corporation and Tulip Telecom and a further 23% directly. In a statement Bharti said the move will give it control of licences allowing it to offer 4G data services in four circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. The services in the 2.3GHz frequency band are expected to be based on TD-LTE technology, which Bharti was the first in India to launch, in Calcutta last month. Before the Qualcomm acquisition Bharti owned 4G BWA licences in only four of India’s 22 circles. Subject to additional terms and conditions, Bharti will fully own Qualcomm’s units by the end of 2014.
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