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India’s leading telecom operator, Bharti Airtel has agreed to merge the consumer mobile business of Tata. Tata’s Consumer Mobile business is active across nineteen 19 circles – 17 under Tata Teleservices and 2 under Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd.
As part of the deal, more than 4 crore Tata Docomo customers in 19 service areas will move to Bharti Airtel along with airwaves that Tata had purchased. With this move, Tata Docomo customers can enjoy 4G services on Airtel’s network. The merger will take place on a “debt-free cash-free” basis and Bharti Airtel will take over a “small portion” of Tata’s unpaid spectrum liabilities. All the existing dues of TTSL and TTML to be settled by the Tata group. This deal will enable Bharti Airtel to further bolster its spectrum foot-print with the addition of 178.5 MHz spectrum in the 850, 1800 & 2100 MHz bands.
“We believe today’s agreement is the best and most optimal solution for the Tata Group and its stakeholders. Finding the right home for our longstanding customers and our employees has been the priority for us. We have evaluated multiple options and are pleased to have this agreement with Bharti.”, said N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons.
“This is a significant development towards further consolidation in the Indian mobile industry and reinforces our commitment to lead India’s digital revolution by offering world-class and affordable telecom services through a robust technology and solid spectrum portfolio.”, said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel.
The employees of TTSL and TTML will be demerged on the lines of the two businesses – consumer mobile business and EFL (Enterprise and Fixed Line and Broadband). The entry of Reliance Jio has ignited cut-throat competition in the Telecom sector. Earlier this year, Idea Cellular has approved the merger with Vodafone India.