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June 15th, 2013, Vol:1

Editor's Words

By Sridhar Pai, ceo, Tonse Telecom


Another dreary month for Indian telecom

May 2013 turned out to be one more uneventful month in the world of Indian telecom. Apart from the usual cacophony of court summons and noise levels raised by regulatory or Dept of Telecom regarding some pending outcomes of telco disputes (Vodafone tax issue), or senior executives' summons as part of legal play, there was no major development worth writing home.

The uncovering scam in the nation's biggest religion - a tournament called IPL - took away eye balls from screens and newsprint consumed end to end play - thus taking readers by storm. The regulatory move to increase SMS termination fee too went down without too much observation. Bharti's news regarding potential opening up of equity in the fixed line and enterprise business raised eyebrows - the question really: is Bharti in such bad shape or is this a subtle hint of more 'partnerships ala - Indus' ?

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What we notice on the rumour street is that the telecom sector is so badly hit that the ballooning debt situation is not only difficult to service; it may be bleeding the sector from future profitability. Maxis is coming forward to put some $800 mil into beleaguered Aircel but that may hardly change things. Uninor is continuing its upstream battle getting something out of everything - reaching breakeven in Gujarat circle despite financial pressure and regulatory redressal.

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On the other hand, Linked In claimed Indian subscriber base crossed 20 million and its paying client base is up too. Gaming player Zynga is facing severe financial crunch and is laying off employees globally - including 30 odd staff in India. By and large, the Indian economy is moving at the pace of an elephant - languishing amidst its political, regulatory and economic tethers.

Sridhar Pai runs Tonse Telecom, a Bengaluru-based telecom research and consulting house that is a research partner to Light Reading India.

Sprint Investors Approve $21.6 Billion SoftBank Acquisition
Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) shareholders approved a $21.6 billion deal with Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp., agreeing to give the Japanese company control of the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier after an eighth-month saga.SoftBank, which has three of the four regulatory approvals needed to do the Sprint deal, still requires a final nod from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. more here
Vodafone Reaches Deal to Buy Kabel Deutschland
Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) agreed to buy Kabel Deutschland Holding AG (KD8) after increasing its bid for Germany's largest cable company to 7.7 billion euros ($10.1 billion) in the second-biggest takeover of a telecommunications network in Europe this year. more here
Merger talks between Tata Teleservices and MTS in advanced stage; NTT DoCoMo looking to exit
Merger talks between Tata Teleservices and Russia's Sistema have advanced substantially, with negotiations centered on a deal that transfers NTTDoCoMo's stake as well as part of the Tata Group's holding to Sistema, giving it a substantial shareholding, said two people familiar with negotiations. more here
Huawei kicks off smartphone production in Brazil
Huawei has annouced it will start producing smartphones in Brazil next month in order to curb heavy import taxes and offer more competitive pricing.
The firm expects to produce more than 100,000 devices by year-end, with prices ranging between $300 and $600. It is not yet clear which models will be produced in Brazil - according to the company's press office, news on that will follow shortly. more here
Sudan shelves telecom profit tax for three years - statement
Sudan has scrapped a 30 percent profit tax on telecom operators until 2015-end, replacing it with a 2.5 percent levy on total income, the state news agency said, in a move that should help a sector hurt by the plunging value of the Sudanese pound. more here

About Tonse Telecom

Tonse Telecom is a research, consulting and advisory services organization focusing on the India telecom sector. Tonse Telecom enables telecom equipment vendors, ISVs, infrastructure developers and investors for success in the Indian telecom marketplace.

Tonse Telecom has onboard, a team of reputed senior industry executives and consultants who provide advisory services on specific projects. Tonse covers a broad spectrum of telecom technologies that include 3G, Wi-Fi /BWA, IMS, FMC and Triple Play, VoIP, Mobile VAS, End-device Applications and Mobile Content.

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