Telenor may be looking to exit its India telecom business but hasn’t been able to find a buyer so far. The Norwegian telco has been pushed into a corner, with no 3G or 4G services, having limited data spectrum and being confined to a few pockets as rivals have become stronger and Reliance Jio Infocomm prepares to launch operations.
The company, which has spectrum in seven circles but operates in just six of India’s 22 zones with airwaves only in 1800 Mhz band, is said to be looking for a valuation between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion (Rs 11,000-12,000 crore), two people familiar with the matter said. But experts say it may at best be able to get around $1 billion (Rs 6,800 crore), with spectrum being the main sale able asset.
The company’s India experience has been fraught with disappointment, given that it has invested over $3 billion since 2008-09 in trying to build a business in the country, now the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone market. After losing all its India licences in 2012, Telenor sought to fight back but hasn’t been able to make much headway