Bharti becomes 2nd largest telco in terms of coverage: Mittal | india | Hindustan Times
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Bharti becomes 2nd largest telco in terms of coverage: Mittal

After inking the landmark deal with Kuwait-based Zain Telecom, Sunil Mittal today said that the Indian operator has become the second largest telco in terms of coverage of population.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2010 23:40 IST

After inking the landmark deal with Kuwait-based Zain Telecom, Sunil Mittal today said that the Indian operator has become the second largest telco in terms of coverage of population.

Announcing the deal, Mittal said, "This agreement is a landmark for global telecom industry and game changer for Bharti. Bharti's telecom footprint will now cover 1.8 billion people across Asia and Africa – making it the second largest among telcos."

In the largest ever telecom takeover by an Indian firm, Bharti Airtel today signed the deal with Kuwait-based Zain Telecom to buy its African business for $10.7 billion (about Rs 48,000 crore).

Under the agreement, Bharti will acquire Zain’s African mobile services operations in 15 countries except Sudan and Morocco with a total customer base of over 42 million.

Zain is the market leader in ten of these countries and ranks second in four countries.

Post this, Bharti Airtel will have operations across 18 countries. Bharti group's global telecom footprint will expand to 21 countries along with the operations in Seychelles, Jersey, and Guernsey.

Mittal said, " With this acquisition, Bharti Airtel will be transformed into a truly global telecom company with operations across 18 countries, fulfilling our vision of building a world-class multinational."

The acquisition, the second largest by an Indian entity after Tatas' Corus deal, would make Bharti the world's fifth largest mobile operator with a total subscriber base of about 179 million. It would have estimated revenues of $13 billion.

With this, Bharti has fulfilled its ambition of entering Africa, where it failed twice in the last two year's to forge a $23 billion merger deal with South African telecom giant MTN.