Telenor earmarks Rs 15,500 cr investment in India
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Norwegian telecom major Telenor has committed an investment of Rs 15,500 crore to its Indian operations and may bid for 2G spectrum for the Mumbai circle in the proposed auction.
The company in a presentation said that it is "committed to INR 155 billion (Rs 15,500 crore) peak funding", but did not give any timeframe for this funding. The company said it expects to reach operating break even by the end of 2013.
Telenor has set up a separate company Telewings Communications in joint venture with Lakshdeep Investment to run its Indian operations after severing its ties with
Unitech. Telenor, at present, holds majority stake in telecom operator Uninor whose licences are valid till January 18, 2013, as per the Supreme Court order.
Post January, the assets and business of Uninor will be transferred to Telewings, in which Telenor would have 74 per cent stake.
Telenor, which won spectrum in six circles in the 2G auction last month, said it will look at participating in 2G auction that is to be held before March 2013.
"There is most likely a new auction coming in the first quarter of next year. We will of course be looking at that, at least for one of our circle Mumbai where we currently have our operations," Uninor Managing Director Sigve Brekke said.
Government on Thursday announced to reduce minimum price of spectrum in four telecom service area- Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan and Karnataka by 30 per cent. As per this decision, price of spectrum in Mumbai for circle for 1800 Mhz band will be Rs 474.91 crore per block compared to Rs 678.45 crore.
As per the rule of last auction, new companies or companies whose licences were cancelled by Supreme Court had to buy at least 4 blocks to operate in a telecom service area.
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