Nordic-based operator group Telenor is in discussions to find a new partner for its business in India before the government carries out an auction for 2G spectrum, reports The Economic Times.
Telenor owns a 67 percent stake in Uninor, a joint venture with Indian firm Unitech, but said it plans to set up a new company to operate in India following the Indian Supreme Court decision to revoke Uninor’s 22 2G licences in February.
Sigve Brekke, Telenor's EVP and head of region for Asia, told reporters that the company is in discussions with a “handful of people”, adding that it needs to have established a company with a new partner prior to the auction.
Telenor is also seeking damages from Unitech, accusing the Indian company of “fraud and misrepresentation” of facts around the Norwegian company’s investment in Uninor. Brekke said he is “quite optimistic” that the issue will be resolved prior to the 2G auction.
The cancellation of Telenor’s 2G licences was part of the wider move to cancel all 122 2G licences issued in 2008, which were deemed by the Supreme Court to have been allocated unfairly. The Indian government now plans to hold fresh auctions for the 2G licences. The move caused several foreign operators who had invested in India to reassess their presence in the market.