Bharti Airtel is reportedly eying to buy out Qualcomm’s Indian partners in its 4G LTE network venture. Qualcomm had acquired BWA spectrum in key circles of Delhi and Mumbai apart from Haryana and Kerala during last year’s BWA spectrum auctions for which it paid close to $1 billion. It then sold 26 percent of its stake to Indian companies – Tulip Telecom and Global Holding Corp – in order to comply with Indian laws that allow only 74 percent FDI in telecom carriers. Bharti Airtel, which also participated in the auctions also managed to get only four circles, of which it has already launched LTE networks in Kolkata and Bangalore. Also Read - Today’s Tech News: WhatsApp new features, Twitter blue tick, JioMeet crosses 15 million usersAlso Read - Honor MagicBook 14 2021, MagicBook 15 2021 launched: Price, specifications
Reuters reports that Airtel is likely to buy out stakes of Qualcomm’s Indian partners and will then invest in building and running the LTE network. New shares will be issued as and when the investments take place, diluting Qualcomm’s stake in the venture. Airtel has ambitions to launch a pan-India LTE network, just like Reliance Industries owned Infotel Broadband, which won spectrum in all 22 circles. Also Read - JioMeet video calling platform crosses 15 millions users
On its part, Qualcomm has been clear from the beginning it would look at exiting the venture once the network is rolled out. It had participated in the auctions and acquired spectrum in key circles of Mumbai and Delhi to ensure carriers go for LTE, a 4G standard developed by Qualcomm, and not WiMax, which was spearheaded by Intel.