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Telecom Newsletter - 06 May to 09 May, 2013

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Future of the state run telecom companies BSNL and MTNL will be decided in a Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting on May 10. Finance Minster P. Chidambaram headed GoM will make recommendations for revival of the loss making public sector telecom companies.

Top Stories 

RComm further hikes pan-India tariffs by 20%

“Our Headline Tariff increase from 1.2 to 1.5 paisa per second in October last year did not see any traffic elasticity and there has been no fall in customer demand or change in usage patterns, as we successfully migrated our entire base to the Headline Tariff. With the Indian telecom industry now heading for a phase of consolidation, with smaller operators shutting down or scaling down their operations and easing off hyper-competitive pressures, this will help pricing power move back to serious, long-term and pan-India scale operators and positively impact profitability,” Gurdeep Singh, CEO, Wireless, Reliance Communications, said. “We have now corrected all Commitment Plans across the country and have increased tariffs by between 20 per cent and 30%,” he added. Read more…

SEBI relaxes norms for Tata Teleservices OFS

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has relaxed the norms for offer of sale (OFS) of shares by Tata Teleservices in order to help the teleco meet the minimum public shareholding guideline of 25%.

The relaxation includes two successive offers (for sale of shares) with a gap of minimum three days, the norms however say that there should 12 week gap for OFS. The company also reported in a BSE filing that SEBI has relaxed the maximum allocation limit of 25% of OFS to a single investor.

“The promoter/promoter group of the company is allowed to sell the shares of the company up to one per cent of the total paid-up share capital of the company on the floor of the stock exchange subject to certain conditions prescribed in the letter,” said the company in an exchange filing.

The promoters hold 77.72% stake in the Tata Teleservices and 22.29% is held by public.

Infocus Stories

Overhang persists in telecom sector: ICRA

Continuing with the trend observed over the last few quarters, the subscriber (subs) base of the Indian mobile services industry continued its downward trend as telecom operators (telcos) continued deactivation of inactive/loss making subs. However, the active subs base remained resilient, reporting modest increases in January and February 2013, thereby narrowing the gap between total and active teledensity.

A majority of the deactivations has been in urban areas as reflected by the decline in urban teledensity from 170% in March 2012 to 146% in February 2013 while during the same period rural teledensity has largely remained stagnant. However, the pace of deactivation of inactive mobile connections is expected to slow down going forward following the guidelines issued by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in February 2013 for deactivation of subs. Read more...

Buy Bharti, target Rs. 368/sh: IIFL Inst Eq

IIFL Institutional Equities, a part of the IIFL Group, has rated Bharti Airtel a buy after the latter issued 200m additional shares to Qatar Foundation Endowment for $1.26bn. It sees post-tax interest saving of around Rs. 2.7bn if the proceeds are used to reduce debt. According to the brokerage, the impact on the company's FY14 and FY15 EPS will be negligible. It has a 12-month target or Rs. 368 per share, which is a 16% upside from its current market price of Rs. 318.
Read more…

Domestic News

GoM to make recommendations on revival of MTNL, BSNL

Future of the state run telecom companies BSNL and MTNL will be decided in a Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting on May 10. Finance Minster P. Chidambaram headed GoM will make recommendations for revival of the loss making public sector telecom companies.

The GoM was set-up after Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal shot a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh bringing his attention to state of the two loss making telecom companies.
The telecom minister has projected that BSNL could post a loss of Rs. 10,000 crore for the financial year 2012-13.

GoM members include Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, Commerce, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) stock is up by 4.6% after reports came out that a GoM on BSNL and MTNL will deliberate on the revival of the sick PSUs in a meeting on May 10.

MTNL stock is trading at Rs. 21.20 up by 0.95 or 4.9% on the National Stock Exchange at 11:13AM Monday. The stock touched a high Of Rs. 21.40 and a low of Rs. 20.55. Total traded volume at the counter stood at 10.8 lakhs.

Idea in talks with outsourcing partners IBM: Reports

Idea Cellular is in talks with its outsourcing partners to lower costs of operations and improve profitability, media report said.

Reports said with IBM, Idea may drive down the revenue share component as it has more than met the subscriber numbers promised in the original deal.

According to reports, Idea is planning to cut costs as profitability is under pressure with high airwave and licence fees. Idea Cellular signed an outsourcing deal with IBM in 2007 with the clause the contract could be extended and renegotiated at the end of the first five years.

Tata, Telenor alliance in the works

Just when government is mulling liberalising the current rules of mergers and acquisitions in the telecom sector and come up with a new policy, maneuvering in the telecom space has begun. Reports suggest a potential merger or a stake sale on the cards - between Norwegian teleco Telenor and the Indian telecom major Tata Teleservices.

According to a Business Standard report on Tuesday, the two companies have already appointed merchant bankers for same. The report says that Telenor has appointed Citibank for the process while Tatas roped in Lazard to “study all options for their telecom business.” 

The M&A scene in the telecom space has been lackluster ever since 2G scam happened. There is also the issue of one time spectrum fee as condition for M&A activity in telecom. 

Jivi launches its CDMA mobile phone in India

Jivi Mobiles, one of the fastest growing mobile phone brands in the country, recently in news for launching a complete range of highly affordable feature phones in association with the state-run mobile phone operator, has announced its first CDMA mobile phone - JV C200. The phone comes with an attractive free talk time bundle from Reliance Communication, the largest CDMA service operator in the country. “After receiving a phenomenal response for GSM range of phones, it was natural for us to expand our product portfolio to include the CDMA phones. Jivi JV C200 is our first phone in this technology category. We shall soon be launching CDMA/EVDO feature phones and smart phones as well,” says Jitendra Rahi, Executive Director, Conplex International, Hong Kong. Read more…

International News

Swipe Telecom introduces Swipe 9X innovative Fablet

California-based Swipe Telecom introduces Swipe 9X; yet another innovative Fablet with the most advanced features catering to the special needs of the Indian market. The Swipe 9X has super sleek exteriors and is ergonomically designed for one hand operation. The latest 4.7 inch Fablet comes with a HD Capacitive Multi-Touch Screen for powerful ways of effortless interactivity.

Powered by Android Ice-cream Sandwich 4.0 OS, Swipe 9X offers easy multitasking. With a blazing fast 1 GHz Dual Core Processor, experience the improvised efficiency, performance and browsing speed. The HD Display of Swipe 9X enhances the video quality and makes your viewing experience more pleasurable. Read more…

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