Nytex

In Brief:Telenor warns of potential India exit 

Norwegian-owned cellco Telenor has repeated warnings that it may exit the Indian market after reporting an operating loss of NOK3.1 billion (USD379.95 million) for the division in Q1 2016, more than three times its operating loss of NOK990 million for the whole of 2015.The massive shift was due primarily to a NOK2.9 billion write-down and impairment during the quarter,including NOK1.4 billion related to network equipment and NOK900 million related to spectrum. Telenor CEO said that the group’s‘long term presence in India is dependent on our ability to secure additional spectrum’ adding that:‘We are not able to compete with [the] current spectrum we have in[a]growing data market.’The official went on to say that Telenor was looking into securing spectrum at a price it can justify,including through spectrum auctions,and sharing/trading deals. The CEO clarified the company’s position,saying:‘We are in India to make money,if we don’t see return then we need to look at other alternatives.’

***Spanish operator MasMovil has announced the acquisition of 100 percent of MVNO Pepephone for EUR 158 million.In a short statement the company confirmed the acquisition.The final amount paid is 12 times Pepephone’s EBITDA.The MVNO has over half a million customers in its domestic market and the deal serves to increase MasMovil’s mobile customer base close to the 1 million milestone,a figure that would rise even higher if the company succeeds in its EUR 550 million bid to acquire the 77 percent stake in mobile operator Yoigo owned by Telia.

***China Telecom added a net 5.81 million 4G subscribers in March, an increase on previous months,alongside a set of solid financial results for the first quarter of the year.The telco's 4G net additions came in at 16.45 million in Q1, giving it a total 4G base of 74.91 million. Its overall customer base grew by 4.74 million during the first three months of the year to 202.64 million.EBITDA slid by 2.9% to CNY23.81 billion,but net profit grew by 1.4% to CNY5.12 billion(€696 million).In addition to its mobile arm, China Telecom also has a robust fixed-line business.

***The Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC)has invited applications from parties interested in acquiring regional spectrum in the 3.5GHz band.The regulator is offering up 25MHz of time division duplex (TDD)spectrum in each of the following 26 states: Adamawa,Katsina,Akwa-Ibom,Kebbi,Bauchi,Kogi,Bayelsa,Kwara,Benue, Niger,Borno,Ogun,Cross Rivers,Ondo,Ekiti,Osun,Gombe,Plateau,Jigawa, Zamfara,Kaduna,Taraba,Kano,Yobe,Nassaarwa and Sokoto.Frequency licences will be auctioned off on a state-by-state basis. Interested parties have been given a deadline of 13 May 2016 to submit their applications for the concessions.

***The president of Tanzania has suspended the head of the country’s telecoms regulator and disbanded the board,claiming the organisation has failed to monitor the industry and gather revenue for the state. The President,who was elected in October 2015,says that the regulator is responsible for the loss of $180 million in tax revenue since 2013.
However the figures of potential revenue provided by the TCRA seem to be very different from the loss that the President is claiming.
The president’s office said,"I want the government to collect all outstanding (tax) revenues and I will not hesitate to take action against anyone who becomes an obstacle in this tax collection drive."