India’s Tata Group is ‘planning to exit’ the telecommunications sector, and is reportedly involved in ‘preliminary’ talks with UK-backed Vodafone with a view to offloading its Tata Communications and Tata TeleServices Ltd (TTSL) units, the Economic Times cites sources with direct knowledge of the matter as saying. According to the sources, Japanese NTT DOCOMO, which holds a 26% stake in TTSL and has a put option which expires on 31 March 2014, will be given a one-year extension on its put option to pave the way for a deal with Vodafone. Meanwhile, Tata Group is expected to buy out the Indian government’s 26% stake in its global network division Tata Communications, before selling the unit to the UK-based group.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at the end of September 2013 TTSL was the sixth cellco by subscribers in India, representing 7.3% of the mobile market at that date. The cellco uses both GSM and CDMA technology, with coverage of 18 and 22 operating circles respectively.