Bharti Airtel has bought Qualcomm’s stake in the two firms’ Indian joint venture, giving it full control of the Wireless Business Services Pvt business with a 100% stake.
The venture does not yet offer commercial services, but holds TD-LTE 4G spectrum in 4 of India’s telecom circles – Delhi, Haryana, Kerala and Mumbai.
In May last year, Bharti purchased a 49% stake in the business for $165 million, stating that it aimed to have “complete ownership and financial responsibility for the entities by the end of 2014.” However, the deal has reportedly already been concluded, meaning that Bharti’s strategy is more than a year ahead of schedule.
In 2010, Qualcomm acquired Indian 4G licences for around $1 billion as a means of promoting its TD-LTE technology; however its goal was always to leave the market once it had partnered with an operator.
Bharti meanwhile also holds 4G spectrum in 4 other telecom circles, and has launched services in some areas. The operator has not disclosed how much it paid to obtain a 100% stake in the venture.