* Bharti Enterprises, Softbank to have equal stake in JV
* JV to invest in social media, gaming, e-commerce
Oct 20 India's Bharti Enterprises, the parent of
top mobile phone carrier Bharti Airtel , and Japanese
telecom firm Softbank Corp said they have formed a
mobile Internet joint venture to invest in social media, gaming
Financial details of the equal joint venture, Bharti
Softbank Holdings Pte Ltd, were not disclosed.
With more than 850 million mobile subscribers, India is the
world's second-biggest market for telecoms services lagging only
Firms including Bharti Airtel have launched third-generation
(3G) networks and are betting on growth of mobile data services
in a country where voice calls account for close to 90 percent
of carriers' revenue. Computer penetration is very low.
"With a fast growing economy, a large youth population and
access to cheaper and faster data, there is a unique
opportunity...especially in a country where the first screen for
most is a mobile device," said Kavin Mittal, head of strategy
and new product development of the joint venture, on Thursday.
Kavin Mittal is one of Bharti's founder billionaire Sunil
Mittal's twin sons. Mittal's other son, Shravin, had last year
joined Bharti Airtel's international operations.
Bharti Enterprises has interests ranging from retail to
financial services. Bharti Airtel is world's fifth-biggest
mobile operator by subscribers with operations in 19 countries
across Asia and Africa.
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy in NEW DELHI; Editing by