4 big cell firms to survive, others to vanish in 2004

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Wednesday, 18 February 2004, 08:00 Hrs   |    2 Comments
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NEW DELHI: With unified regime acting as a catalyst for consolidation, Indian cellular industry is estimated to witness hectic restructuring in 2004 leading to a market of no more than four large nationwide players -- Bharti, Reliance, Tatas and BSNL, research firm Gartner said on Tuesday.

"Four cellular groups will survive and thrive through 2004: Bharti, Reliance, Tata and BSNL. Other operators will survive as niche market players, or be absorbed through merger and acquisition," Gartner said in its predictions for 2004.

Pointing out that unified licensing regime will act as a catalyst for consolidation in the Indian telecom industry, Gartner said in 2004, restructuring in the Indian cellular industry will accelerate, leading to a market of no more than four large nationwide players.

Several smaller telecom operators have merged their operations and 2004 will be critical in determining the future shape of the competitive environment.

Unified licensing regime had reduced the artificial constraints on open market competition, creating an environment favouring the stronger and more innovative players.

It said size and volume would increasingly matter.

"Expect intra and inter-circle consolidation aimed at identifying potential partners and acquisitions," it said.

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