TM’s Indian affiliate seeks 21 UAS licences

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 06 Sep 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia Bhd's (TM) Indian affiliate Spice Communications Private Limited (Spice) applied for Unified Access Services (UAS) licences for all the 21 circles in India on Sept 1. 

The company had originally said that it would only apply for six circles – Jammu-Kashmir, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himaphal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh (East and West), TM said in a statement yesterday. 

Currently, Spice operates out of two circles in the states of Punjab and Karnataka.  

TM added that in line with Spice's pan-Indian strategy, the unit had also applied for the National Licence Distance (NLD) and International Long Distance (ILD) licences at the end of August. 

It said the move reflected a liberalised regulatory environment in India, as characterised by recent policy and regulatory changes that included the introduction of the technology-neutral UAS licensing regime, the liberalisation of licences and the raising of the foreign direct investment ceiling from 49% to 74%.  

Yusof Annuar Yaacob, chief executive officer of TM's international investment holding arm, TM International (TMI), said that the aggressive growth plan was the result of Spice’s restructuring and reflected TM's and partner Mcorp Global’s vision to position Spice as a dynamic wireless communications provider in India. Mcorp Global holds 51% of Spice. 

Yusof said the funding for Spice's pan-Indian expansion and operating expenditure of an estimated US2.5bil over the next three years could involve a variety of internal and external financing options, including tapping into the capital market. 

“However, a decision on the early listing of Spice is subject to shareholders' decision, including that of TM,” he said. 

TMI has 15 million subscribers in nine Asian countries which, including its domestic operation, brings its total regional subscriber base to 24 million.  

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