BSNL plans overseas foray, open to overseas acquisitions

10 Nov 2008

Indian news source Business Standard is reporting that state-owned operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is actively looking to acquire operators in Africa and the Middle East, citing comment by BSNL chairman Kuldeep Goyal. ‘We are looking for growth in international markets. We will bid for licences in low teledensity markets in Africa and Middle East,’ Mr Goyal said. The operator is also reported to have joined a consortium of seven companies, Europe India Gateway (EIG), which will invest approximately USD50 million in an undersea cable link in the Atlantic, while BSNL and fellow state-run operator Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are also involved in a separate joint venture, Millennium Telecom, which will lay two further undersea cable links to the east and west. Mr Goyal reiterated that the total proposed investment for the latter scheme was USD300 million, and completion of the project is expected in around three years.