Putting an end to the rumor that Reliance Communications is in talks with Sistema to buy its Indian wireless business, Sistema Chief Vladimir Yevtushenkov revealed that the talks held were about the possibility of forming a joint venture in India.
He said there are no plans to sell Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which is one of the smallest telecom players in India with less than one percent market share and nine million customers. “We have been talking to different people regarding business expansion. Honestly, there is nothing much to say,” Yevtushenkov said.
Along with Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, Sistema Shyam offers CDMA services in the country. The company scaled back its operations in 2013 when it had to buy new telecom permits, after the earlier permits were cancelled due to licensing scandal.
Reliance Communications is the market’s fourth biggest mobile phone carrier by customers, but it has strong competitions from Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. Reliance currently possess $6 billion debt and the plans to cut the debt by selling assets did not made the desired results.
India is the world’s second-largest cellular market after China, with 970 million mobile phone accounts. However, the market is highly competitive with over 10 players.
Source : Business Standard