February 2008
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Reliance Communications acquires Anupam Global Soft of Uganda

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications on Thursday said the company has acquired Uganda-based Anupam Global Soft, a company holding telecom service provider licence in the African country. RComm also announced an investment of about Rs 2,000 crore over the next five years to set up telecom network in Uganda.

RComm is planning to offer mobile, fixed line, internet, national and international long distance services, in addition to Wi-Max and Wi-Fi services in Uganda through the newly acquired company, a statement from the company said. Anupam Global Soft holds licences for providing public infrastructure and public services, issued by Uganda Communications Commission.

The company has received spectrum and plans to launch mobile services by 2008-end. “RComm is targeting to invest up to $500 million (about Rs 2,000 crore) in establishing a high quality integrated telecom network in Uganda to capture the significant growth potential in the emerging African market,” the release said. Uganda has a population of about 30 million and in March 2007 about 10% of this population was using mobile phones.

“Uganda telecom market is similar to what India was eight years back. Our expertise in managing among world's largest integrated telecom network and deep understanding of diverse consumer segments makes us confident to achieve position to add further value to our two million shareholders,” the release added.

For RComm, this is the third global acquisition after Flag in 2003 and Yipes in 2007, and first international acquisition in the services space. RComm had acquired Flag for $211 million and Yipes for $300 million. The Uganda announcement came a day after RComm announced the formation of Reliance Globalcom, the umbrella brand for all its international businesses.

RComm plans to connect African continent with rest of the world by laying a submarine cable system via Reliance Flag and would spend $1.5 billion in building a 1.15 lakh-km fully IP-enabled optic network to reach two-thirds of world population.

Source: Economic Times

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