This means that the slew of international companies that have taken major stakes in India's mobile services startups can't take a quick profit by selling off their holdings right away.
The companies affected, including the likes of Bahrain Telecommunications Co. (Batelco) , Etisalat , NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), Sistema JSFC (London: SSA), and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), knew this was coming, though: The lock-in recommendations were made public in March. (See IndiaWatch: Game-Changin' Days, Batelco Ups Stake in India's S Tel, and A Guide to India's Telecom Market.)
In other news from the ever-vibrant Indian market:
Airtel is India's biggest mobile operator, with almost 102.4 million GSM customers at the end of June, giving it a 24 percent market share. The carrier also has more than 2.8 million fixed line customers, of which 1.14 million have signed up for the operator's DSL-based broadband services.
It's also looking to branch out overseas, and is still locked in merger talks with African carrier MTN Group Ltd. (See Bharti, MTN in $23 Billion Talks.)
The carrier recently struck two key outsourcing deals: one with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), for its fixed-line network, and one with Comviva Technologies Ltd. , for its mobile value-added-services (VAS) systems. (See India's Airtel Outsources Again and AlcaLu, Bharti Form Joint Venture.)
IDEA, which recently announced a network upgrade deal with Nokia Networks , plans to invest INR60 billion ($1.24 billion) during the next two years on network expansion, according to this Business Standard report. (See IDEA Deploys NSN.)
- Etisalat, Reliance Strike Mega Network Share Deal
- Comptel Wins in India
- Sterlite Reports Fiscal Q1
- Essar & Dhabi in Partnership Talks
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading