Bharti confirms stake increase in former Qualcomm unit

18 Oct 2013

Bharti Airtel has increased its stake in Qualcomm-founded Wireless Business Services (WBS), despite concerns that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) may find the transaction to breach spectrum purchasing rules, the Financial Express writes. Airtel increased its ownership of WBS, which was awarded 2300MHz spectrum in a 2010 auction, to 93.45% from 51% at an estimated cost of INR8.75 billion (USD143.48 million). As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the DoT pointed out earlier this month that Airtel’s plans to up its holding in the company may fall foul of the terms of the 2010 spectrum sale, which required successful bidders that are newcomers to the market to retain a 26% stake in their ventures. However, the rules did not specify whether the holding must be kept until the winner was allocated an internet service provider (ISP) licence or for the tenure of the spectrum.

India, Bharti Airtel, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Qualcomm, Qualcomm (India)