Bharti Airtel CEO, Sunil Mittal is in London to arrange finances for the multi-billion dollar African Wireless Safari – MTN group. Bharti has lot of synergy with MTN and the bid makes strategic sense.

Bharti could easily transport its low cost business model to the high population, low affordability MTN countries and the combined entity is likely to have significant leverage with equipment vendors, handset vendors etc.

Bharti Airtel has officially denied bidding for MTN at $21.8 as reported by section of the press. Vodafone and Reliance Communications have dropped out of the race, while Orascom and China Mobile are expected to enter the bidding war soon. Any paparazzi out there tracking the flight schedules of Executives at China Mobile and Orascom ?

In a separate development, Vodafone India has cut NLD / STD rates to Rs 1.30 Rs 0.20 lower than Bharti Airtel paving way for a STD / NLD rate war to eliminate weaker players such as Spice Telecom.