Telenor confirms it may pull out of India

29 Apr 2016

Norway-based Telenor has confirmed it may exit the Indian market if the operator is unable to procure spectrum at affordable rates, as operating losses from Telenor India mount.

Announcing its financial results, Telenor group CEO Sigve Brekke said the operator's long-term presence in India is dependent on the ability to secure additional spectrum at a price that can be justified, Press Trust of Indiareported.

Telenor is looking into participating in upcoming auctions and into potential spectrum trading options, but will remain open to other alternatives in case the price doesn't justify the move. Brekke said the company is looking at all options for a sustainable business model.

The news comes as Telenor India reported a substantially wider operating loss of 3.1 billion krone ($381.5 million) for the first quarter of 2016, despite an 11% increase in revenue.

The company recorded an impairment loss of 2.3 billion krone for the first quarter of 2016 due to network equipment and spectrum depreciation.

Indian media reports from earlier this month suggested that Telenor is considering withdrawing from the Indian market even as the operator gears up to launch LTE services across its footprint.

As part of its LTE rollout, the company has already launched services in one city, and plans to expand this to at least 6-8 more in the next 60 days.

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