Vodafone to invest $1 billion and Airtel $1.7 billion in India in FY 2014

Telecom Lead Asia: Despite regulatory uncertainties, Vodafone will invest $1 billion and Bharti Airtel around $1.7 billion in Indian mobile market in the current fiscal.

Vodafone India on Wednesday said it remained committed to the Indian telecom market and would invest another $1 billion in 2013-14.

According to telecom analysts, Bharti Airtel had indicated a lower Capex of $2.2-$2.3 billion in FY 2014, of which $500 million to $600 million will be spent on its African operations.

Meanwhile, Sistema Shyam TeleServices (MTS India) is planning to invest $415 million in India in 2013 and a part of this will be on developing faster wireless services using LTE / 4G technology.

Speaking on the sidelines of the M-Pesa launch in Kolkatta, Vodafone India MD & CEO Marten Pieters said that investments in India might not continue if the Vodafone Group did not get returns from its investments.

Vodafone Group has invested Rs 81,000 crore in acquisition and another Rs 55,000 crore of Capex in the past six years, but the parent did not get back adequate money as returns, Pieters said.

Vodafone said it was also not in favor on rolling out 4G service in India soon.

“We took a position and it’s too early for 4-G. 4G is a natural transition for 3G. It also depends on the penetration of smart phones and spectrum allocation,” Pieters said.

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