Bangladesh’s telecoms authority has approved Bharti Airtel’s proposed $300 million investment in Abu Dhabi Group’s Warid Telecom, the fourth-largest mobile company in Bangladesh.
“We’ve asked Warid to submit schedule of the Bharti’s $300 million initial investment plan within 30 days,” a senior official of the telecoms regulator said on Tuesday.
The money must be spent on network expansion, he added.
Last month, Abu Dhabi Group said Bharti would buy a 70 percent stake in Warid.
Warid, which launched its operation in Bangladesh in 2007 as the sixth mobile phone operator, has so far invested $600 million expanding its business and had 2.92 million subscribers at end of November, 2009.
Bangladesh’s mobile sector has grown rapidly, with subscriber numbers reaching more than 51 million from 200,000 in 2001, helped by low penetration levels, competitive tariffs and steady economic growth.
Analysts predict the number of subscribers could top 70 million by 2011, nearly half the country’s population of 150 million.