According to Economic Times, the telecom operator Telenor is actively in hunt for buyers to sell its telecom assets in India. The operator plans to exit India soon. With no 3G or 4G services to offer and with limited spectrum, Telenor has become an unknown name in the Indian market.
Currently, Telenor has spectrum in seven circles. However, the operator operates only in six zones out of the 22 existing in the country, with airwaves only in 1800 Mhz band. The operator values its assets in India between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion. However, market analysts claimed the asset to be worth only $1 billion.
In 2008 – 2009, the company invested nearly $3 billion in India, which is the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market. Telenor, the permit holder of Unitech suffered a huge set back when the Supreme Court annulled its licenses among the 122 that it cancelled as part of the 2G scam. But, Telenor, then called Uninor, acquired bandwidth in six circles, and tried once again to become a serious contender in the Indian telecom market.
However, 4G is the game changer in India now, and the top telecom players such as Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, and Reliance Jio are already beefed up to provide 4G services. It has increasingly become difficult for a regional player like Telenor to survive until it becomes a pan-India player.
Aside from its telecom business, Telenor India recently received a payments bank license. The company owns a 39% stake, with Dilip Shanghvi of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries holding 41% and IDFC 20%. Payments banks are allowed to offer basic banking services.