Airtel ramps up 4G presence; acquires Augere Wireless

Last Updated 26 August 2015, 13:21 IST

Country's largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel today acquired wireless broadband firm Augere's India operations, a move that will help the firm to augment its 4G presence in the country.

The company did not disclose the deal value.

With this acquisition, Bharti Airtel's 4G services will now be available in over 300 cities and towns.

Augere Wireless holds 20 MHz of spectrum in 2300 MHz band used for 4G services in the telecom circle of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (MPCG).

In a statement, Bharti Airtel said that "it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100 per cent equity stake in Augere Wireless Broadband India Pvt Ltd".

It added, "Upon acquisition, Augere will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Airtel. The acquisition is subject to necessary statutory and regulatory approvals."

Earlier this month, Bharti Airtel announced commercial launch of 4G services in 296 towns across India after testing the market in select cities. The telecom company had launched the first 4G network in Kolkata in April 2012.

Augere, established in September 2007, launched broadband services under the Qubee brand in Pakistan in July 2009. This was closely followed by launch in Bangladesh in October 2009.

As per Augere's website, the company has licenses to operate broadband wireless networks in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in India but did not launch services, although it has tested a pilot wireless network based on LTE technology in Madhya Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Airtel in 2013 had acquired complete stake in Wireless Business Services (WBSPL), a company founded by US chip maker Qualcomm, which has 2300 MHz spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Haryana.

Airtel had bought similar spectrum in Punjab, Maharashtra, Kolkata and Karnataka in 2010 auctions.

Shares of Bharti Airtel today closed at Rs 339.75 apiece on BSE, down 2.57 per cent.  

(Published 26 August 2015, 13:21 IST)

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