Telcom Roundup – Reliance to form JV with Alcatel-Lucent, MTN Bid, Dish DTH offers free set-top boxes..and more

Reliance and Alcatel-Lucent are planning a JV for managed network services to manage RCom’s CDMA and GSM networks.

Alcatel-Lucent will hold ~67% stake in the newly formed company and will initially focus on providing services to 12 circles in northern and western India.

MTN Bid

Vodafone is examining a possible bid for MTN, close on the heels of the South African firm and Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel announcing that they are in ‘exploratory discussions’ for a buyout – in the range of 20 billion pounds bid for MTN.

On the other hand. M1 Group, which holds 9.8 per cent in MTN, has backed Bharti’s bid, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) said it has no objection to the acquisition.[source]

Dish DTH to offer free set-top boxes

The price-war has begun in the direct-to-home (DTH) market with the country’s largest DTH company Dish TV — with over 3 million subscribers —getting ready to offer its connection virtually free.

Any consumer who wants to buy a Dish TV connection will not have to pay for the set-top box, the hardware essential to access DTH services and normally costs Rs 2,500. [source]

GSM operators added 6.1 million mobile subscribers in the month of April, 2008

The operators had added 7.6 million subscribers in March.The dip in growth has been primarily due to poor performance by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd which got only 4.7 lakh new customers in April.[source]

RCom arm plans inter-bank money transfer on mobile

Reliance Globalcom, the international arm of Reliance Communications, is planning to launch a global backbone to enable international inter-bank transfer on mobile platforms.

The company has initiated talks with mobile operators and banks for the project that will enable money transfer from over 110 countries. This follows a similar move by mobile services provider Idea Cellular last week, with the company announcing a pilot project to facilitate money transfer over mobile phones. [source]

iPhone in India

Vodafone has signed an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in 10 of its markets around the globe – will sell Apple`s iPhone in India by Sep end.

» Complete Coverage of Indian Telecom Industry

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