Thursday, 23 February 2017

Airtel to acquire Telenor India as Jio threat grows

Airtel, the country's largest telecom operator has announced that it will acquire Telenor India. As part of the agreement, Airtel will acquire Telenor India's running operations in seven telecom circles – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam. Telenor holds 1800MHz band in the aforementioned circles.

The acquisition will include the transfer of Telenor India's assets including including spectrum, licenses and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million as well as outstanding spectrum payments and other operational contracts, including tower lease.

Airtel promises to provide quality services to Telenor India's subscribers, while offering them the added benefits of its product portfolio. With the acquisition, Airtel will further strengthen its overall customer base and network in the country.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval, and until the completion of the transaction, Telenor India's operations and services will continue as normal. The financial terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, however, the deal is expected to close within 12 months.

The news come soon after Reliance Jio announced it has hit 100 million subscribers, and announced Jio Prime membership, under which Jio users have to pay Rs. 99 for a year, to continue enjoying Jio's Happy New Year benefits (unlimited voice calling, internet browsing w/ FUP of 1GB and access to Jio's suite of apps) at Rs. 304 per month.

Last month, Vodafone's India arm confirmed it is in merger talks with Idea Celluar, while a most recent report suggested that Tata Teleservices is planning to merge with RCom-Aircel and MTS.

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