Bharti looks to expand Indian 4G footprint

Bharti looks to expand Indian 4G footprint

Following Bharti airtel’s launch of India’s first 4G network this week in Kolkata, there have also been unconfirmed reports that the company was interested in buying 4G licences from US chipmarker, Qualcomm.

Bharti’s TD LTE network was launched by India’s telecoms minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday. The company said that it would offers services in Bangalore within a month, with Pune and Chandigarh to follow later this year.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that Bharti would try to expand its LTE network further by acquiring Qualcomm’s licences for the sum of $1.2 billion. There have also been indications that the Indian telco is in talks with several other licence holders, but has yet to reach any agreement.

Bharti first acquired its 4G licences at auction in 2010, for $650 million. Sibal said in February that the government would hold another 4G auction this year, but this may be pushed back to next year to coincide with the re-auction of 2G licences, cancelled by the Indian Supreme Court.

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