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Bharti Airtel & Tata Telecom Announce Merger Of Their Telecom Services

This merger is expected to make Airtel more powerful with additional resources and user base.

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Airtel Tata Teleservices Merger

Airtel is on a roll! It is consistently in the news for the past few weeks for various reasons. Just consider the following timeline.

  • September 11: Airtel became only the second Indian telecom, after Jio, to offer 4G VoLTE services in India, starting with Mumbai.
  • September 28: Airtel rolled out their MIMO based 5G capable network in Kolkata and Bengaluru.
  • October 11: Airtel announced their affordable 4G-enabled smartphone with bundled offers.
  • October 12: Airtel unveiled their Diwali Dhamaka plans where they are offering 500% more data than previously, in their myPlan Infinity postpaid plans.
  • October 12: Airtel announced the acquisition and merger of Consumer Mobile Businesses (CMB) of Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Limited (TTML) into Bharti Airtel.

Airtel And Tata Telecom: The Merger

Three days ago we had reported Tata Group’s decision to shut down Tata Teleservices which was making losses due to untenable debts to the tune of Rs. 30,000 Crores.

In a press statement released yesterday, Airtel has said that this acquisition is subject to all requisite regulatory approvals.

The ‘proposed’ merger deal will include transfer of all Tata CMB’s assets and customers to Airtel. Tata CMB has a combined user base of 40 million customers in 19 circles, 17 under TTSL and 2 under TTML.

More Power To Airtel

This huge user base and existing infrastructure will further increase Airtel’s already substantial presence across India.

Additionally, the merger will also enhance Airtel’ strong spectrum footprint. Especially with the addition of 178.5 MHz spectrum (of which 71.3 MHz is liberalised) in the 850, 1800 & 2100 MHz bands.

Until the merger is completed, Tata Telecom’s operations and services will continue as normal. In a press statement, the company has said, “Tata and Bharti Airtel will work together to further explore other mutual areas of cooperation, that will be value accretive for both the Groups”.

This merger has given Airtel the right to use Tata Telecom’s existing fibre network. According to Airtel, except for them taking over a small portion of Tata Telecom’s unpaid spectrum liability towards the DoT, which is to be paid on a deferred basis, this merger is being done on a debt-free, cash-free basis.

Airtel’s press statement also said, “The employees of Tata will be demerged on the lines of the two businesses i.e. CMB and EFL (Enterprise and Fixed Line and Broadband), and post an optimal manpower planning will be moved accordingly”.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, had this to say.

“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. On completion, the proposed acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as the network side, and further strengthen our market position in several key circles. The customers of Tata will be able to enjoy India’s widest and fastest voice & data network, and a bouquet of Airtel’s best-in-class products and services.”

“The acquisition of additional spectrum made an attractive business proposition. It will further strengthen our already solid portfolio and create substantial long-term value for our shareholders given the significant synergies,” he added.

Chairman of Tata Sons, Mr. N Chandrasekaran, further said.

“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 have been the priority for us. We have evaluated multiple options and are pleased to have this agreement with Bharti.”

Though the merger has already been announced, there are no figures disclosed yet. The expected completion date of this merger has also not yet been announced.

We will keep you updated. We ask all Tata Telecom subscribers out there. Would you join Airtel’s network or would you simply port out to some other telecom operator? Sound off in the comments below.

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