News Roundup: MTNL BSNL Merger?

MTNL has partnered with MVAS provider DigiVive to offer mobile television and voice-interactive- response (IVR) services to its customers. “nexGTv is a mobile TV service offering live TV channels and an exhaustive list of Video-On-Demand (VOD) content on mobile. This service is available for both 2G as well as 3G users with compatible handsets”.


State-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd(MTNL) on Wednesday said it was in talks with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd to offer customers a pan-India service , adding that it was up to the government to decide if there will be a merger.[source]

Decision on FDI in multi-brand retail soon

The Government is expected to take a decision in the next three months on allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, a long pending issue.  According to sources, the Government would allow the foreign retail giants with riders which include a minimum investment of $100 million, half of which must go to back-end infrastructure like cold storage, soil testing labs and seed farming.  At present, India allows FDI only in single brand retail chains like Nike and Louis Vuitton with a cap of 51 per cent. It also permits 100 per cent overseas investment in wholesale cash-and-carry format [source].

Demand for radio sets dips despite booming FM market

As per a study done by marketing research firm ORG GFK, radio-set market in India in 2008 was estimated at 34 lakh units in volume terms and Rs 112 crore in value terms. Japanese electronics major Sony, which used to sell a wide range of radio sets and transistors in India, currently has just one model on retail shelves. “There is not much demand coming for these products now. Sony only sells a small transistor priced at Rs 800 which is mostly bought by senior citizens. The youth is not interested in buying separate radio sets anymore,” Rajesh Dewani, Director Avit Digital, a Sony distributor in New Delhi.[source]

Telecom Sector & Diesel Consumption

Telecom sector spend INR 126 billion annually on diesel fuel. If subsidy of 21 % on diesel fuel removed for telecom sector, the cost of diesel fuel for telecom sector would go to INR 150 billion annually. On the other side, the cost to solarise entire network towers with initial expenditure and no or marginal operational expenditure is equivalent to annual diesel cost for next 10 years.

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