Telenor in talks with Tata Teleservices for strategic alliance

Telecom Lead India: Norway-based Telenor could rope in
Tata Teleservices for a strategic alliance.


It is expected that both companies will take final call
after the rules for the upcoming auctions are clear, reported Hindu
Business Line.


The report added that both companies have talked about
multiple options, including merging Uninor’s assets with Tata Teleservices.


Additionally, Telenor has another option to buy
Japan-based NTT DoCoMo’s stake in the company partially or fully. However, this
option will be depending upon NTT DoCoMo’s decision on the upcoming call


In February, following the Supreme Court’s order that
scrapped 122 mobile licenses, including 22 licenses of Uninor, Telenor parted ways with its Indian partner Unitech.


Uninor to finalize partner before 2G spectrum auctions in
Indian telecom market


Since then, Telenor has been scouting for a strategic
partner. The Norway-based operator is also exploring potential in a tie-up with
Viom, a joint venture between Tata Teleservices and Srei Infrastructure.


Earlier, Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo said it will
raise its stake in its Indian joint venture with Tata Teleservices. Although,
it is now expected that NTT DoCoMo could sell its stake in Tata Teleservices
under a call option agreed between the two parties four years ago.


NTT DoCoMo may not exercise the option to raise its stake
in Tata DoCoMo and could sell the entire stake back to Tata, as the company is
unable to reach certain performance-related milestones.


According to sources, Tata Teleservices may have missed these milestones, which
gives NTT DoCoMo a reason to leave the venture.


DoCoMo bought 26 percent stake in Tata Teleservices for
$2.7 billion in 2008.


This is not the first speculation regarding our future
course in India that we will, as a policy, decline to comment on. We have
always stated that we have a long-term intention in India and expect a fair
auction framework that allows us to consider participation,” said Mr Glenn
Mandelid, spokesperson for Telenor Group, Asia.


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