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Indian state telcos to share network, offer some services jointly

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's two state-run telecommunications carriers -- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd -- signed a pact on Tuesday to share their infrastructure and provide joint services to corporate customers. BSNL operates mobile, fixed-line and Internet services in 20 of India's 22 telecommunications zones, while MTNL operates in the key Delhi and Mumbai zones. Hit by intense competition from private sector rivals, both carriers have seen their market share eroding, and lost money in the past four fiscal years.

Bangladesh's Grameenphone says it will invest millions of dollars in 3G

DHAKA, Bangladesh - The head of Bangladesh's largest mobile phone company said Tuesday it is ready to invest millions of dollars to prepare for 3G operations after gaining spectrum in the country's first open 3G auction. On Sunday, Grameenphone Ltd. won 10 megahertz of spectrum with a bid of $21 million for each megahertz.

India recommends big cut in mobile phone spectrum price

By Devidutta Tripathy and Matthias Williams NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India on Monday proposed a cut of up to 60 percent in minimum auction prices for mobile phone spectrum in a response to lukewarm interest from telecom companies in two previous sales.

India Bharti Airtel Q1 profit dives 10% but stock soars

India's top mobile firm Bharti Airtel Wednesday reported its 14th straight quarterly profit fall, hit by foreign exchange losses, but its shares soared on hopes of better performance as tariff wars waned. The company, the fourth largest globally by customers, reported net profit for the first financial quarter to June fell by 9.6 percent to 6.89 billion rupees ($114 million) from a year earlier. But the profit still outpaced market expectations while revenues climbed 9.2 percent to 20.26 billion rupees. Net debt fell by $908 million to $9.78 billion, helped by a stake sale.

India's Bharti Airtel quarterly profit dives 10%

India's top mobile company Bharti Airtel on Wednesday reported a nearly 10 percent dive in quarterly profit from a year ago, with the carrier hit by foreign exchange losses and other costs. The year-on-year tumble in profits was the 14th straight decline for Bharti, which has been struggling in a cut-throat market. But the company, the world's fourth-biggest cellular operator by customers, said it was optimistic about the future as fierce tariff wars wane.

Myanmar awards telecom licences to Telenor and Ooredoo

Myanmar on Thursday awarded telecom licences to Norway's Telenor and Qatari firm Ooredoo, the government committee in charge of the bids said, opening up one of the world's last virtually untapped mobile phone markets. The committee "is pleased to announce that Telenor Mobile Communications and Ooredoo have been selected as the two successful applicants", from the 11 global consortiums remaining on a shortlist, it said in the statement.

EU antitrust watchdog put to test with Vodafone, Hutchison deals

By Leila Abboud and Foo Yun Chee PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European regulators will soon weigh in on two telecom acquisitions worth about 11.5 billion euros, in key test cases for a sector that executives believe needs consolidation to counter falling sales and boost network investments.

Bharti Airtel's quarterly profit drops 49 per cent, blames tax increase

MUMBAI, India - Bharti Airtel, India's biggest telecommunications company, reported Thursday that quarterly net profit fell by nearly half to 5.1 billion rupees ($94.7 million) on higher taxes and operating costs. The company said revenue for the January-March final quarter of its fiscal year rose 9.2 per cent from a year earlier to 205 billion rupees ($3.8 billion). However, a tax increase of 1.3 billion rupees ($24.8 million) for the quarter over the previous year cut into profits, accounting for about half of the steep year-on-year drop.

Profits at India's Bharti Airtel sink further

India's top telecoms company Bharti Airtel said Thursday its net quarterly profit halved in its final financial quarter to March, hit by fierce competition and punishing interest charges. Consolidated net profit for the three months to March tumbled to 5.08 billion rupees ($94 million), down from 10.06 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier. The drop in profit marked the phone giant's 13th straight quarterly fall and was well wide of analysts' forecasts of a 7.0-billion-rupee profit, leading to a sharp fall in its shares.

India's top court postpones Bharti boss hearing

India's highest court has postponed until further notice a hearing for telecom tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal over corruption allegations involving the allotment of telecom airwaves. Mittal, chief of Bharti Airtel, India's biggest mobile operator, was last month for the first time personally dragged into the second-generation (2G) spectrum allocation controversies that have shaken the country in recent years. But the Supreme Court late Friday said Mittal's hearing on the allegations was being "postponed" until further notice. He was due to appear in court on Monday.
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