I had mentioned about it earlier(and this link) that Bharti would be looking forward to buy out MTN with Singtel’s help. They don’t have enough money (and guts) to venture out; it’s too early in their life cycle to take big gamble and risks like these. Although Sunil Bharti Mittal promotes himself agressively (and is probably not rich enough like Mukesh Ambani), he is spreading himself out too thin (witness his forays in Retail). I doubt whether he’d go under but has been willing to act as a front for Singtel’s acquistion.
Here is the published story from Business Standard with all legal flotsam. Of note here is the following:
1) Sunil Mittal, the founder of Bharti Airtel, plans to set up a separate company in partnership with Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) that will be the vehicle for acquisition of the South Africa-based MTN Group.
2)The SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) may be registered in a tax-haven country, like Mauritius or Bahamas, the sources said.
3)When contacted, a Bharti Airtel spokesperson said: “We have already issued a statement and have nothing further to add to our last statement. “At this stage, MTN is not commenting further than the cautionary announcement released on May 5, 2008,” an MTN spokesperson said.
4)As equipment and software purchases are huge for telecom companies, the merger would give joint bargaining power to Bharti.
5)”The SPV would also look at listing on the New York Stock Exchange, where valuations of telecom companies are relatively higher,” said a source. The SPV would also be the vehicle for the Bharti Airtel-MTN combine’s future acquisition plans in the US and Europe.
I stand vindicated regarding my future predictions and the fact that Bharti is looking forward to leverage it’s position in purchase agreements. This is in addition to create monopolistic telephone operators which would limit the choice to the consumers.
Pity that these morons can’t extend something to Broadband initiatives. All this is being done prior to the auctioning of 3G licences. Bharti wants to have an exciting piece of this cake. Let’s see who spoils their party….
iPhone (or the “jesus” phone) would be marketed here in India by Vodafone (and perhaps Bharti Airtel). By all accounts it would be the crappy 2G stuff while rest of the world would see 3G version being rolled out.
iPhone is seriously making a dent in Blackberry’s business model; although as a general user, it doesn’t impress me. Job’s reality distortion field has had it’s effects.
If it is priced beyond 20k, it would be of no use unless one really wants to blow up serious money. It means either you are a bank robber or have amassed hue amounts of money and don’t want Government of India to know about it. A much better option would be to get a smuggled handset from one of these “chor bazaars”, haggle over the price (minus any gurantees) and pray that it doesnt go kaput. Useless option. Vodafone India is being managed by a set of nuts who can at best scratch them without applying their minds to it.
This was mandated much earlier way back in 2001; however, this was opposed by Bharti. Reliance had entered with the premise of “death of distance” and had made STD calls ridiculously cheap. At that time, Dhirubhai Ambani was still alive and Mukesh and Anil Ambani were still brothers in arms.
If Internet telephony is implemented in it’s present shape, it would see present rates crashing down to a large extent. It would give a new lease of life to ISP’s like Sify and other fringe lunatics to scale up investments. I can foresee the entry of players like Skype as well as other SIP players which rely on open standards. It’s hard not to imagine the real gains to economy as a whole and it would benefit the adoption of setting up of WiFi hotspots on a larger scale.
Carrier access codes means that one can choose his/her service provider and each of the incumbent telecom operator in fixed line business has to provide that option. It means that you can choose Airtel landline to use BSNL’s calling cards to call up you mother in law in Timbuktoo. Granted that mother in laws should remain far away without casting their evil eyes on their kids…..
The major player that’s going to get hurt is BSNL (and MTNL). Unless, they improve their services which are required in the present set up, people are going to abandon them like rats on a sinking ship.
Although, this isnt new and TRAI has probably dusted off it’s old files from it’s dingy offices, still, all compliments to them to even think of doing such a thing. This comes as a breath of fresh air indeed.