Airtel completes Telenor acquisition to take customer base to 330 mn

Bharti Airtel announced the completion of the acquisition of Telenor India Communications as part of the company strategy to enhance spectrum and customer base.
Sunil Mittal of Airtel and Sigve Brekke of Telenor
Airtel said its mobile customer base in India now stands at over 330 million following the Telenor deal. Airtel will add 5 MHz to 7.2 MHz of Telenor’s spectrum (1800 band) in seven circles — Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam.

The addition of this fresh spectrum (total of 43.4 MHz) will enable Airtel to further expand network capacity across these markets.

Airtel, the largest telecom operator in terms of subscriber base, revenue and annual Capex, plans to step up investments and aggressively expand its high speed data network across the country over the coming year as part of Project Leap.

Gopal Vittal, Airtel India CEO, said the acquisition of Telenor consolidates the company’s market leadership and further strengthens network portfolio in key markets.

The completion of the deal shows the disappearance of one more telecom brand from India.

Sigve Brekke, chief executive officer of Telenor Group and Sunil Mittal, chairman of Airtel were instrumental in signing the telecom deal.

The telecom deal is important for Airtel because Vodafone and Idea Cellular, the second and third largest telecom operators, are also in the process of integrating their business to become the largest telecom operator in India.

DoT is to yet to take a final decision on giving approval to Vodafone and Idea Cellular due to pending spectrum fee related issues. It is not known whether the pending tax issues are also impacting the Vodafone-Idea deal.