Telenor’s Indian cup half full; in talks with new partners

23 Apr 2012

Despite ongoing troubles in India, Norwegian telco Telenor, which operates on the subcontinent via Uninor, is ‘optimistic’ that a solution to the 2G licence crisis will be found. Uninor’s managing director Sigve Brekke hinted that the company’s meetings with Indian telecom officials were bearing fruit, saying: ‘We see there will be a clarity on 2G spectrum auction process before June 2 and are hopeful that a solution will be found before June 2. At the same time, we are holding dialogue with the Indian government and all these things make us optimistic that a solution will be found.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Telenor has leveraged its ties with its part-owner the Norwegian government to apply pressure to the Indian government for a mutually acceptable outcome: prior to the cancellation of its licences in February this year, Telenor had invested INR145 billion (USD2.719 billion) in its Indian arm.

Brekke also added that Telenor was in talks with four to five institutions with a view to finding a new local partner, and has held a meeting with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board seeking permission for the change of partnership, but did not name any of the potential new partners.

India, Telenor India