Virgin Mobile, Spice Group bid for 3G franchise deal of MTNL

Last Updated: Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 19:15

New Delhi: B K Modi-promoted Spice Group and
British Virgin Mobile have bid for MTNL`s franchise deals to
offer 3G services in Mumbai and Delhi.

"Virgin Mobile and Spice Group have bid for our 3G
franchise deal. We will finalise the bidder(s) in a month,"
Kuldip Singh, Director (Technical), MTNL told agency.
Spice Group, which had sold off its mobile services
business to Idea Cellular, has business interests in telecom,
mobile software and retail stores.

Virgin Mobile, on other hand, is owned by Virgin Group
of the UK. It already has a franchise agreement in India
with Tata Teleservices for providing telecom services under
the Virgin Mobile brand to the youth segment.

MTNL had invited bids in July for a franchise deal to
sell its 3G mobile services on a revenue-sharing basis.

MTNL is seeking a partner with the expertise to help it
kick start its 3G deployments before competitors in private
sector, like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar, can enter the
fray. The government has announced the spectrum auction base
price and the auction is likely to take place soon.
This involves sharing of cost, risk and reward, with the
partner bringing expertise and equipment funding to the table.

"It is apt to emphasise that in accordance with the
advertisement, interested bidders may choose not to
participate in the data room process and are free to submit
technical and financial bids by the deadline of October 2,
2009," the BPE added.

Nigeria is Africa`s biggest telecom market in terms of
investment and subscribers due to its large and fast growing
population. The country`s continued telecom growth is expected
to trigger more intense competition among a growing number of
operators.

MTNL is the second telecom operator in Mauritius and is
operating in Nepal through a joint venture, UTL. It was keen
on Sri Lanka Telecom as well but at the moment, the plan is on
the backburner.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 19:15

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