Bharti Airtel to buy Alcatel-Lucent stake in India tie-up

Bharti Airtel, India's biggest mobile phone firm, said Tuesday it will buyout Alcatel-Lucent's stake in a joint venture which manages Bharti's fixed-line and broadband networks in the country.

Bharti Airtel and the local unit of telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent had formed the 26:74 joint venture, Alcatel-Lucent Managed Network Service India, in 2009.

The five-year network contract, which was worth about $500 million, ends in April 2014.

After the buyout "the company will operate independent of Bharti and in the future invite other operators to bring in equity", Bharti Airtel said in a statement, which did not provide any financial details.

"The operations of the entity will be strengthened by the transition of processes and all staff from the existing joint venture," said the New Delhi-based firm.

Bharti Airtel provides broadband, data and telephone services to 3.3 million subscribers in 87 cities, of whom 1.4 million subscribe to Internet services.