India investments reap rich rewards for foreign telcos

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 24 November 2006, 06:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: If figures are anything to go by, multinational telecom service providers are seemingly reaping big benefits from their investments in domestic telecom firms. Aircel Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of Malaysia's Maxis Communications Bhd contributed around 12 percent of the latter’s revenues for the quarter ended September. Maxis' revenue on the whole rose by 25 percent on year to touch RM 1.97 billion, of which Aircel accounted for RM 247 million.

Further adding to the figures, Singapore Telecom said that more than half of its new subscriber base from its worldwide operations had come from its joint venture with Airtel. During the quarter ended September, SingTel added 8.4 million new subscribers across 7 countries, with Bharti Airtel accounting for nearly 4 million subscribers.
The Malaysian major Maxis posted a 28 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit, helped by its Indian operations. It holds a 74 per cent majority stake the Aircel. The Malaysian company said that there were ample growth opportunities in India, with new licenses being on the anvil. Aircel has applied for additional licenses to spread its reach across the country.

Apart from these two companies, the other major investor in the India telecom space is Hutchison Telecom International. Hutchison has been increasing its stake in the Indian mobile company, Essar Hutchison, by acquiring all the smaller equity holders.

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