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Rediff.com  » Business » Globalcom buys UK's WiMax firm, hopes to become numero uno

Globalcom buys UK's WiMax firm, hopes to become numero uno

April 25, 2008 11:32 IST
Reliance Globalcom, the international operations arm of Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Communications, has acquired a 90 per cent stake in British Virgin Islands-registered WiMax operator, eWave World, for an undisclosed sum.

The company will also make a $500 million (Rs 2,000 crore) investment through the acquired company in the next 2-3 years to build and acquire WiMax networks across 50 countries.

Worldwide interoperability for microwave access or WiMax is a telecommunications technology that provides wireless data over long distances through various mediums.

This is the third acquisition by the company as it had acquired US-based ethernet services provider Yipes Holdings for $300 million (Rs 1,200 crore) in July 2007.

The group also acquired a 10 per cent stake in French WiMax chip manufacturer Sequans Communications in February this year for an undisclosed sum. 

"This acquisition will enable Reliance Globalcom to create the largest WiMax and broadband company in the world, banking on eWave World's presence across Latin America, Central America and China among others. This is a significant step forward in RCom's global growth strategy to directly reach out to millions of customers -- both corporate and individual - through a best-in-class last-mile network," Reliance Globalcom Chief Executive Officer Punit Garg said.

The company would be funding the acquisition through internal accruals, Garg said. He, however, did not divulge the acquisition price citing confidentiality clause. 

A start-up firm, eWave World was formed by a group of industry veterans and it holds WiMax licenses and spectrum in several countries. Recently, it has entered into a joint venture to provide broadband services in China and installed 36,000 route km of optical fibre cable there.

Reliance Globalcom will also make a $500 million investment to build and acquire
WiMax networks across Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa by 2012.

The company will also explore opportunities for providing 4G WiMax services using its 1,15,000 km Internet Protocol-enabled optic network spread across six continents.
BS Reporter in Mumbai
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