France Telecom mulls pulling out of India

4 Jul 2003

According to the Hindu Business Line France Telecom is considering making a tactical withdrawal from India, echoing the recent departures of TeliaSonera and Vodafone from the sub-continent. Its possible departure is being seen as indicative of rising apathy towards India’s telecom market and in particular its restrictive financial practices. France Telecom is reported to have already closed its offices in New Delhi and redistributed a number of staff. Pulling out of India would be part of the French telcos wider restructuring plan, which aims to drastically cut debt to the tune of USD15 billion during 2003. For the time being it is thought France Telecom will remain a 26% stakeholder in wireless operator BPL Mobile, which operates in the Mumbai region.