Virgin Mobile sole company shortlisted to manage MTNL’s 3G network

1 Dec 2009

UK-owned Virgin Mobile has been shortlisted by India’s MTNL to manage the state-run telco’s 3G network in Delhi and Bombay, after the only other bidder, the Spice Group, was dropped due to a lack of experience in 3G operations, reports Business Line. Mr R.S.P Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director of MTNL, told the newspaper ‘We are in discussion with Virgin. They have the necessary experience in offering 3G services in the international market through the franchisee route. Spice did not have the required experience.’ The outsourcing tender disallows any company that is planning to bid for full 3G network operating licences in India, and offers a ten-year revenue sharing deal to the winner. MTNL has seen very disappointing take-up of its W-CDMA-based 3G services, whilst Virgin Mobile already operates in India though a CDMA network partnership with Tata Teleservices.