Indian regulator the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has called on state owned telcos Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) to prepare a plan for their merger within the next three months. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, plans to combine MTNL and BSNL have been kicked around for almost a decade, having first emerged in September 2002. After it was shelved in 2008, the idea was resurrected in early 2011, though to date little progress has been made.
The DoT has requested the pair to present reports on how best to manage the merger, saying that no action will be taken until these have been completed. A senior DoT official was cited by the Indian Express as saying: ‘The merger of the two companies makes a lot of sense but it comes with a lot of complications, which includes one company being a public limited firm and the other not, and it will be best to ask both to suggest ways [to complete the merger].’