Hong Kong’s Hutchison Telecommunications reports that its mobile joint venture in India is proceeding with its planned purchase of the mobile assets of rival BPL. Hutchison Essar Telecom (HET), a partnership between Hutchison and India’s Essar Group, has agreed to pay USD1.15 billion for sister companies BPL Mobile and BPL Cellular, which together constitute the country’s fifth largest GSM provider. Added to this deal, HET is also in the process of acquiring Essar Spacetel for USD6 million. The acquisitions will boost Hutchison’s total Indian mobile subscriber base to more than twelve million, and give it a presence in several new telecoms circles. At the end of last month, BPL Mobile had 1.3 million subscribers in Mumbai, and BPL Cellular claimed 1.5 million customers in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Essar Spacetel has applied for mobile licences in seven circles in which Hutchison does not operate – Madhya Pradesh, North East, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Bihar, Orissa and Assam.