India’s Reliance Globalcom has announced it will invest USD500 million over the coming two years to build and acquire WiMAX networks in emerging markets in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa, as part of its acquisition of eWave World, a London-based telecoms company which claims to hold WiMAX licences in several countries. Following Reliance Globalcom’s purchase of a 90% stake in eWave, it will invest USD500 million to establish WiMAX operations in 20 countries; it hopes to expand that number to 50 by 2012.
Virgin Islands-registered eWave was founded by Jay Metcalfe – a former president of Millicom International Cellular – while its chief executive is Simon Duffy, the former president of NTL, the British cable TV operator. Reliance Globalcom and eWave did not disclose the value of the transaction, but the deal is unlikely to be substantial given eWave has yet to generate any revenue. Besides its management expertise, Reliance said eWave was attractive because it has built a 36,000km fibre-optic telecoms network with the Chinese government.