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Case Title:

Telenor’s Entry into Indian Mobile Market: Too Late and Expensive?

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: S Edavalapati, D Arora, S Gollapalli

Industry: Telecommunications

Region:India

Case Code: MES0098IRC

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Abstract:

The Indian mobile phone industry witnessed quite a few acquisitions in the year 2008. Global telecommunications firms were eyeing for alliances or joint ventures in India to make an entry into the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world. Unitech Wireless, a new Indian mobile venture, was in need of a strategic partner. Telenor, a Norway-based mobile phone operator, was keen on entering the Indian mobile market and had acquired a 60% stake in Unitech Wireless. Unitech Wireless is yet to start its mobile operations, at present it has no cash flows, mobile infrastructure, subscribers or any telecommunications experience. Telenor's Indian entry and expansion in India is beset with several issues such as:

  1. Regulatory approvals
  2. Funds availability
  3. Building up of mobile infrastructure
  4. Availability of the spectrum in all the circles
  5. Competition from incumbent players.

Despite these apparent constraints, Telenor is very confident about its Indian operations and it intends to emerge as a leading mobile player in India. Industry experts feel that the entry of Telenor into the Indian mobile market is happening at the wrong time and also at a higher price. They also believe that Telenor has to face a tough struggle to enter India and then to expand its base against the existing well-established players. It remains to be seen whether Telenor's Indian entry and expansion will be viable or not.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To analyse late mover challenges in the Indian mobile industry.
  • To examine recent mobile venture deals in India.
  • To examine Telenor's global operations.
  • To elaborate on Telenor's acquisition of Unitech Wireless.
  • To analyse the rationale behind Unitech Wireless's decision to partner with Telenor.
  • To examine the merits and demerits of the Telenor and Unitech Wireless deal.
  • To examine Telenor's plans for the Indian mobile market.
  • To analyse the challenges and opportunities for Telenor in India.

Keywords :  Mobile phone industry; Telecommunications; Mobile spectrum; Mobile license; Acquisition; Mobile infrastructure; Market entry; Telecommunication circles; Telenor; Unitech Wireless; 2G (2nd generation); Norway; MVAS (mobile value-added services); Asia; 3G (3rd generation)

Contents : 
Indian Mobile Phone Market
Population and Cellular Market Penetration Rate in India
Telenor’s acquisition of Unitech Wireless
Telenor’s Global Mobile Operations by 2008
Telenor: Can it thrive in Indian mobile market?
Mobile Service areas (Circles) and Its Categorisation

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