Japanese telecom gaint Softbank recorded a loss of $350 million for last nine months of 2016 in the fair value of the Company’s investments in India. The loss comes on top of a $555 million writedown on the value of Softbank’s India portfolio in the six-month period ending September 2016. “With reference to the current markdown, portfolio…
Uninor is on the hunt for high-speed data spectrum, including in the 900 MHz band, through the upcoming auctions and other means such as an acquisition, with Videocon Telecom being “a viable option” for a buy, its new chief executive said.
“We want to prepare ourselves as the market is changing from being voice-centric to data-centric in the future,” Vivek Sood told ET. “This would mean more data spectrum.” He, however, added that while 3G and then 4G would be the way to go for the industry in, say, two years from now, there is still juice in 2G data with about 23% of its 43.6 million users using mobile internet. He added that for now, the company would continue playing its ‘Sabse Sasta’ card to attract and retain subscribers, which has seen it gain 1 percentage point user market share in 2014.
Backed by Norway’s Telenor Group, which now fully owns the company, Uninor offers 2G prepaid services in six circles, but doesn’t have a 3G bandwidth. And with 4G not expected to be widely adopted for some years now in India, analysts fear Uninor may be left far behind in the rush by operators to bag higher-paying data customers unless they get data airwaves soon. Sood admitted that that the company would in time need to migrate to the 3G and 4G technologies and said it will upgrade its networks to support the surging data-driven traffic over the next 15-18 months, which would include improving transmission, network transformation and acquiring spectrum. “The game is changing now”. Original post ET Telecom