Etisalat will not re-enter Indian telecom market via 2G spectrum auction

Telecom Lead Middle India: Etisalat has decided to skip 2G spectrum auction in India.

 The 2G spectrum is expected in November 2012.

 Recently, DoT secretary said the government is expecting significant response from existing and new players for the spectrum sale.

 Etisalat earlier this year shut down its Indian mobile operations, after a court ordered to revoke cellular permits including those granted to its local affiliate in a scandal-tainted 2008 sale.

The decision not to re-enter the market through the 2G auction will be a major setback for the Indian telecom equipment players such as ZTE, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson.

 This shows lack of interest among top players. Existing telecom service providers such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone, Aircel and Idea Cellular are yet to announce their strategies.

 Recently, the telecom operator said that revenue from international operations grew by 14 percent to Dh2.3 billion. Before the Supreme Court order, Etisalat was keen to expand in India and increase its international revenue.

 Etisalat has posted consolidated revenues of Dh8.3 billion, a four percent increase year-on-year.

 It has reported net profit of Dh1.9 billion after federal royalty for its second quarter of 2012, a 17 percent growth compared to the same period last year.

 Following the industry trend to invest in overseas markets over the past decade, Etisalat is now focusing on creating value in high population, high growth markets such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

 Etisalat has more than 172 million subscribers by the end of June, up 22 percent.

 Etisalat’s decision to wind up telecom operations in India was primarily due to the Supreme Court order that cancelled 15 licences held by its joint venture Etisalat DB.

 S Tel, which has investment from Bahrain Telecom, closed down its telecom service in India.

 Recently, Etisalat announced that it would take a $829 million hit on its Indian income after the Supreme Court cancelled all 15 mobile permits held by the Gulf carrier’s joint venture.

 Due to the Supreme Court order, Norway’s Telenor wrote down $721 million in licences and goodwill in India after all its 22 mobile permits were quashed by the apex court.

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