Telenor may exit the Indian market

11 Apr 2016

Telenor India is gearing up to launch LTE services across its footprint, but according to reports Telenor's days in India's telecom sector may be numbered.

CEO Sharad Mehrotra toldthe Press Trust of India that the operator has already upgraded 7,000 mobile sites to LTE.

Telenor India plans to have its entire network upgraded by the end of the current financial year, which in India ends on March 31.

The operator has awarded Huawei with a 12.4 billion rupee ($186.3 million) contract to modernize all 25,000 of its base stations across the six circles.

But according to a separate report in the Economic Times, Telenor is also considering exiting the Indian telecom market due to its negative experiences to date.

Besides only holding spectrum in seven circles, Telenor India also has limited data spectrum and no 3G services. The company has only around a 5% share of India's mobile market with its 2G-only operations.

Despite investing over $3 billion since 2008 trying to build its Indian business, the loss of its Indian telecom licenses during the 2012 spectrum scandal was a setback the operator has been unable to come back from.

According to the report, Telenor is seeking a valuation of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion for its Indian business, but experts believe the company could find it difficult to find a buyer at this price.

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