ADAG picks up UK Wi-Max operator | india | Hindustan Times
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ADAG picks up UK Wi-Max operator

Industry sources say that Reliance has paid around $105 million for a 90 per cent stake in eWave. However, company officials refuse to confirm the valuation. Reports Suman Layak.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2008 23:44 IST
Suman Layak

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company Reliance Communication has acquired a controlling stake in United Kingdom based company eWave World Limited. The acquisition has been done through Reliance Communications subsidiary Reliance Globalcom, a Reliance press release said.

Industry sources said that Reliance has paid around $105 million for a 90 per cent stake in eWave. Company officials however refused to confirm the valuation.

The UK-based eWave World offers telecom solutions based on the Wimax technology and has operations across the world. Reliance Communications has announced plans to invest in the Wi-max technology and acquire networks offering telephony services based on this technology all across the world. The company has said it would invest $500 million (Rs 2,000 crore) in this technology.

WiMAX, the acronym, expands as Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It is a technology aimed at providing wireless data over long distances in diferent ways. It varies from broad band internet connectivity to mobile phones.

Punit Garg, the chief executive officer of Reliance Globalcom told Hindustan Times: 'This company has licences in 20 countries in Africa, eastern Europe, south and central America and a joint venture in China. The company also brings a couple of years of planning for launching services and relationships in all these markets.'

Garg added that Reliance would look at getting licences in 30 additional countries. Reliance Globalcom is already present in 40 countries and will be launching in 60 more countries shortly. However, he refused to comment on the valuation of eWave of how much Reliance has invested in it. “We will be investing Rs 2,000 crore in this company for the new launches,' he added.

The company, eWave World was set up by a group of senior telecom professionals to explore the Wimax opportunity. Jay Metcalfe, the founder chairman of the company said: “Today many emerging markets are effectively excluded from the full benefit of the internet because of a lack of broadband service. With the backing of Reliance, eWave World will deliver broadband services to business and residential customers in numerous emerging markets.”

Last year Reliance Globalcom had acquired an US-based Ethernet Service Provider Yipes Holdings Inc for $300 million.