Billions wasted in India

Telenor CEO, Sigve BrekkeTelenor CEO, Sigve Brekke.Photo: Telenor

Telenor gives up in India after losing billions – will not get paid for 44 million customers India’s largest mobile operator acquires Telenor India.

India’s largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel) Acquires Telenor India, Telenor said in a stock exchange announcement.

Airtel is India’s largest mobile operator with over 269 million subscribers and a market share of over 33 per cent in terms of turnover.

Telenor entered India in 2008 with high hopes of making money in the world’s second most populous country. According to Dagens Næringsliv, the Norwegian telecoms giant however had an operating loss of NOK 10.5 billion since 2009.

– Not been easy

It has long been speculated that Telenor would get rid of operations in India, which finally is taking place.

Airtel takes over Telenor India’s mobile frequencies, licenses and company, including employees and a customer base of 44 million subscribers. Telenor India will continue its operations as normal until the transaction is completed.

– The agreement does not involve any cash transfers, but Airtel takes over Telenor India’s mobile frequencies, licenses and company, including employees and customer base of 44 million subscribers.

They will also take over future commitments, including frequency fee’s and other operational contracts, such as transmitting tower lease, press officer for Telenor, Glenn Mandelid, said.

– Today’s agreement is for the beneficial for our customers, employees and the Telenor Group. To find a long term solution for our Indian operations it has been important for us, and we are pleased with the agreement with Airtel.

The decision to exit the Indian market has not been easy, but our assessment is that the substantial investments necessary to ensure Telenor India’s future operations would not given an acceptable return, says Telenor CEO, Sigve Brekke, in a stock exchange announcement.

For the time being Telenor India will operate as normal, but Airtel and Telenor India will merge this year and Airtel will take over when all the necessary approvals are in place.

– Tough competition

The Indian newspaper Economic Times notified early in the Year that Airtel was interested in Telenor India .As India’s largest mobile operator Airtel has over 269 million subscribers and a market share of over 33 percent, measured in turn-over.

Telenor had 38 million customers and a market share of 3, 9 percent at the end of 2016, the newspaper said.
In January, Brekke explained to VG why the company wanted to sell the India operation.

– There are two reasons why we do not succeed: The competition was very tough and revenues has fallen dramatically. Meanwhile, the price of new licenses are exorbitant. a very bad combination.

 

Source: Dagbladet / Norway Today

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