Bharti eyeing Qualcomm’s India unit

Bharti eyeing Qualcomm’s India unit

Mumbai: Leading Indian mobile operator Bharti Airtel and smaller rival Aircel are in the race to buy Qualcomm’s wireless broadband business in India, the Economic Times reported on Thursday.

Qualcomm, which spent about $1 billion to buy wireless airwaves in four circles in an auction earlier this year, is looking to exit the business for a minimum of Rs50 billion ($1.1 billion), the newspaper had reported a day earlier.

Bharti is mainly interested in Qualcomm’s airwaves and permits for the Delhi circle, while Aircel, majority owned by Malaysia’s Maxis Communications, is keen on acquiring the Mumbai and Kerala circles, the paper said on Thursday, quoting unnamed industry executives.

It said two top Bharti executives recently met Qualcomm’s south Asia head, who also met a top Maxis executive.

Reliance Communications, the country’s No. 2 mobile operator and Tata Communications also be interested in Qualcomm’s business, the paper said.