Millennium Post

Airtel & world leader China Mobile ink 5G, device, equipment pact

The agreement was signed by China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua and Bharti Airtel founder and Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal. “We are delighted to announce this landmark agreement with China Mobile. India and China account for nearly a third of all the mobile subscribers globally.” “This partnership will provide a major platform for development and deployment of 4G and future mobile technology standards as both countries enter a phase of explosive data led growth,” Mittal said.

As founders of Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI), China Mobile and Airtel will cooperate on standards and products development, and promoting ecosystem to accelerate the commercialisation of TD-LTE, a 4G technology, and evolving 4.5G/5G technologies. Under the agreement, both the telecom operators will work towards shaping up a joint strategy for procurement of devices that include portable wifi devices, smart phones, data cards, and LTE consumer premise equipment - routers, modem and USIM (Universal SIM).

This move gives Airtel and Chinese major an immense benefit of economies of scale to buy equipment and devices at very low price. Both companies will work together for understanding and sharing testing and validation practices. 

Bharti’s Spectrum payout to offset its 83% African tower sale gains

The huge payout for radiowaves, for which the auctions begin on Wednesday, will offset the benefit that Bharti Airtel was likely to gain on its heavily debt-laden balance sheet by selling its African tower business recently, says a report.

“Bharti Airtel’s agreements to sell 83 per cent of its tower portfolio in Africa will allow for significant deleveraging, but spectrum payments from the March auctions have the potential to offset the expected debt reduction,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a report on Tuesday. “The four agreements to sell 12,500 towers will allow Bharti to focus on its core business as a cellular telecom operator, and enable it to reduce its balance sheet debt,” vice-president and senior analyst at the agency, Annalisa Di Chiara, said.

She further said that while Bharti’s operating costs for its towers will decline post-sale, its rental costs will rise. Also, spectrum auction payments, which she estimates at $2-3 billion, could offset the debt reduction. Excluding the deferred payment liabilities to the government, net debt on the company’s book stood at $8.35 billion, as of the December quarter.

Let global factory China and global office India unite all efforts: Envoy

Chinese companies are keen to participate in the 'Make in India' campaign and establish manufacturing facilities here, China's Ambassador Le Yucheng has said.

“Certainly, (Chinese companies are interested in setting up manufacturing facilities in India). We are closely following the project of ‘Make in India’ initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” “Chinese companies are expressing keen interest in participating in this project, Yucheng said,” he said.

“China is known as the world's factory and India is known as the world’s office. So if the factory and office combine and make joint efforts it will make a huge difference.”

“I am sure that the companies of both countries will have very good opportunities to join hands and to promote cooperation, especially promote manufacturing in India. I am very optimistic about this prospect,” he added. The Ambassador further said that Chinese investments here will help address India's concern of mounting trade deficit. “Sure (it will help bridge trade deficit). With Chinese investment coming to India, it will produce many products. So, you won't need to import products from China. So, it will certainly help address the trade imbalance,” Yucheng said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to visit China in May this year.

India’s trade deficit with China rose to a whopping $37.8 billion last year even as bilateral trade picked up, totalling $70.59 billion, a year-on-year increase of 7.9 per cent.
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