India, a Paradise or Battlefield for Mobile Carriers?

India has been a popular destination for global telecom operators seeking new sources of growth outside their saturated home markets. But in the latest indication that challenges remain in this market, Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor said its Indian operation is only likely to generate positive cash flow from 2014.

Telenor, which has presence in markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia, entered the Indian market late last year and now ranks seventh by the number of subscribers.

India’s less than 30 percent mobile penetration rate has attracted many foreign telecom operators to the country. And yet, even the country’s biggest mobile-phone operator by users, Bharti Airtel, is looking beyond its home market for growth because of a fierce tariff war and stalled revenue growth.

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