Airtel may have to pay Rs 436 cr for merging Qualcomm 4G arm

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015,21:53 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Telecom major Bharti Airtel may have to pay Rs 436 crore for merging Airtel Broadband Services with itself as per legal opinion received by the Department of Telecom, an official source said. Airtel Broadband Services (ABSPL), formerly Wireless Business Services Private Limited — a telecom company founded US chip maker Qualcomm — was acquired by Airtel in 2013.
Airtel Broadband Services (ABSPL) holds broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Haryana that can be used for 4G services and Airtel has proposed merger of this subsidiary with itself.
The DoT had sought legal opinion if the company was liable to pay differential spectrum cost and mainly migration fee for merging ABSPL with it. ABSPL holds internet service provider licence while Airtel has Unified Licence. Merger would allow Airtel to seamlessly provide even voice telephony using ABSPL spectrum. As per legal opinion, Airtel is liable to pay migration fee.
The total fee payable by Airtel as per calculation few months back amounts to Rs 436 crore, the official source said. An Airtel spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. In 2013, Reliance Jio Infocomm paid Rs 1,673.43 crore for shifting from Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence to Universal Licence (UL).