Bharti Airtel has now fully acquired Tata Teleservices’ consumer mobile unit, providing the operator with access to three different 4G spectrum bands.
The Indian number three noted in a stock market filing that it has folded into its own business all of the Tata Teleservices mobile operation’s agreed liabilities, assets, customers, and spectrum. Airtel has also assimilated the Tata Teleservices Maharashtra unit. Tata Teleservices holds 71.25MHz of spectrum across the 850MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands.
The deal required approvals from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and National Company Law Tribunal, with the former giving the green light in April provided that Airtel procured bank guarantees to ensure that it could meet spectrum costs.
Airtel has received approvals from a number of other regulators – including the Competition Commission of India and Security Exchange Board of India – since it first announced its deal to acquire Tata Teleservices in October 2017. The deal came amidst a flurry of consolidation in the Indian market spurred by the entry of Reliance Jio.
One final complication was the government’s demand – via the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) – that Airtel pay INR12.9 billion ($187 million) to close the deal. In May, the operator submitted about half of this amount.