French media and telecoms company Vivendi has reportedly conducted initial negotiations with yet-to-launch Indian mobile network operator Datacom Solutions over a possible stake acquisition, the Economic Times reports. The news source cites a person close to the matter as saying: ‘Officials from Vivendi were in India last week and held two rounds of talks with Datacom team in Delhi…They want a majority stake. Both the sides will meet again in a few weeks to take the discussion forward.’ Both V.N. Dhoot, chairman of Datacom’s parent company, Videocon Group, and Solange Maulini, Vivendi’s press director, declined to comment on the rumours. In the past both Etisalat of the UAE and Turkey’s Turkcell have been linked to possible bids for a stake in Datacom, but talks between the respective parties were halted as a result of the global economic crisis.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Datacom holds a licence allowing it to roll out mobile services across India, and having received spectrum in most circles it is expected to begin commercial GSM-based operations in four regions by the end of 2009, with further significant expansion in 2010. Datacom has also applied for national long-distance (NLD) and international long-distance (ILD) licences, and hopes to establish a pan-India network for NLD as well as ILD gateways; the enterprise segment is expected to be an area of focus for Datacom as it looks to carve a niche for itself in the crowded Indian telecoms sectors.