The Telenor Group has announced that the company has been successful in securing spectrum license to provide mobile telephony services in six telecom circles in India.
Telenor’s total bid in the spectrum auction was INR 40.18 billion (NOK 4.2bn) of which 33 per cent is to be paid up front, according to a press release.
It also says that the Indian Department of Telecommunications has informed Telenor that the company secured 5 MHz of spectrum in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West, Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra. With a total population of about 600 million people and an actual mobile phone customer penetration of just 40 percent, these states represent a strong growth opportunity for Telenor Group. All Uninor assets in these circles, including customers, employees, partners and infrastructure will be seamlessly transferred to the new company and services will continue uninterrupted.
“I am very pleased that Telenor Group has acquired the necessary spectrum to provide mobile services in India, as a continued presence in the country is important for our growth strategy. Since Telenor started operations in India we have proven our industrial capabilities by establishing a cost-efficient and highly competitive mobile operation with a significant customer base. The fresh licenses provide clarity for customers, operators and partners after a long period of uncertainty. We are looking forward to a more predictable and stable regulatory environment,” said Telenor Group President and CEO, Jon Fredrik Baksaas.
“Today we have won spectrum the 6 most populous circles in India. These are also the areas where we enjoy a strong position already, and where we see the highest potential for continued growth and profitability. All of these circles are about to deliver on the financial targets of becoming break-even in 2013,” said Sigve Brekke, Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Group’s Asian Operations.
“The ten months of uncertainty after the license cancellation have tested the organization’s ability to keep focus, growth and talent intact. Emerging successful in that test means that a much stronger, confident and competitive team has now won back its right to continue. We have brought competition and affordability to the Indian telecom sector, and I promise that we will continue to do that in the future,” said Sigve Brekke.
Telenor will continue the process of transferring its business assets from Uninor into the new company in a way that is seamless for its remaining 34 million customers (TRAI figures). Telenor was not awarded spectrum in Mumbai, Kolkata and West Bengal. In these circles operations will cease in accordance with Indian law and regulations.