Telenor eyes Indian exit - Mobile World Live

Telenor eyes Indian exit

12 APR 2016

Telenor may want to head for the door in India but is unable to find a buyer for its 2G-only operations, according to Economic Times.

Lacking 3G or 4G services, and with little data spectrum, Telenor has been “pushed into a corner”, said the report.

Meanwhile, India’s leading operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, are already well established 3G players, and have either launched, or are set to launch, 4G.

And the threat of newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm lurks on the horizon, with its 4G service scheduled to launch later this year.

Telenor has not entered into the merger activity being played out by other smaller players in the India. For instance, Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Aircel are looking at combining with Reliance Communications to create a more substantial entity.

The Norwegian operator, which has 1800 MHz spectrum in seven circles, declined to comment.

It is thought to want between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion for the Indian business, according to sources, although analysts say it may only get $1 billion.

According to its parent’s most recent quarterly results, the Indian operation saw a healthy revenue growth of 33 per cent to NOK 5.6 billion ($320 million) in 2015, although it reported an operating loss of NOK 990 million, compared to an operating profit of NOK 882 million in the previous year.

In February, the company said it needed to acquire more spectrum in India, either via trading or an auction, but has failed to do this.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

Read more