Indian ops likely to achieve break-even by year-end: Telenor

Indian ops likely to achieve break-even by year-end: Telenor New Delhi: Norwegian telecom firm Telenor's Indian arm is expected to break-even by the end of this year, a top official of the company has said.

"We expect to break-even by December-end," Telenor Group President and CEO Jon-Fredrik Baksaas said.

Uninor, the Indian arm of Telenor Group, now offers services in six circles -- UP East, UP West, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It had secured spectrum for these six circles in November auction for around Rs 4,018 crore. This price was around eight times higher compared to the what the company paid for 22 permits in 2008.

Uninor's 22 licences were among the 122 permits that were cancelled by a Supreme Court order in February last year.

The group is in the process of transferring assets to new entity Telewings in which Telenor has around 74 percent stake.

Telenor has signed Lakshdeep Investments and Finance as the partner for Telewings Communications.

A ministerial panel has also allowed the firm's Indian arm to adjust Rs 1,658 crore licence fee it had paid in 2008 against the final price it has to pay for buying spectrum.

Uninor, formerly Unitech Wireless, had in 2008 paid an entry fee of Rs 1,658 crore for licence to operate in 22 telecom zones.

Uninor lost 8.34 million subscribers during February and its user base now stands at 31.77 million.
Uninor has closed down its operations in various circles and is now focusing on strengthening operations in the six circles.

PTI