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After its acquisition of Tate Teleservices’ consumer mobile business, Bharti Airtel would be able to bridge, to a large extent, the gap between the share of total spectrum held by it and that owned by the merged entity formed after rivals Idea Cellular’s merger with Vodafone India. Bharti and Tata Tele will together control over 28 per cent of the total spectrum available to telecom service providers, and that will bring them on a par with the Idea-Vodafone’s share across the country. Also, the Bharti Airtel-Tata Tele combined entity would control around 40 per cent of the total telecom revenues, not much behind the projected 44 per cent for the Idea-Vodafone combine. Bharti Airtel has virtually got Tata Tele in a platter – it will only have to pay 15-20 per cent of the deferred payment for spectrum. That comes to around Rs 1,5002,000 crore. It, of course, might have to pay $1.2 billion to the government if it wants to liberalise the unliberalised 1,800-MHz spectrum that it gets from Tata Tele.
But the choice of that will be with Bharti Airtel. In return, the latter will have to absorb a large part of the former's 5,000 employees. But Bharti Airtel also gets 40 million additional customers. This will take the subscriber share of Bharti Airtel-Tata Tele combine to 27-28 per cent, compared with around 35 per cent for the merged Idea-Vodafone entity.