Just weeks after DoT allowed companies to set up MVNOs in Ienndia, news of foreign companies planning to enter the Indian telecom industry are cropping up. Handset manufacturer Nokia and Swedish network equipment vendor Ericsson have rejected reports of them planning to establish MVNOs in India.

The Financial Chronicle reported the two firms were amongst the foreign companies looking to enter India’s telecom market using the MVNO route. The initiative would not be unlikely, given Nokia’s MVNO in Japan, and their increased focus on services. However, a spokesman for Nokia Siemens Networks, the network hardware joint venture of Nokia and Siemens told Total Telecom that “Nokia is not planning on offering MVNO services in India”. An Ericsson spokeswoman called the speculation “pure nonsense”.

Nokia’s Japan MVNO & Rural India Foray

Information Week has a report that Nokia has tied up with NTT DoCoMo to debut an MVNO in Japan with its luxury line Vertu. NTT DoCoMo has a stake in Tata Teleservices and perhaps there may be a synergistic partnership with Nokia in India; with Nokia’s growing focus on rural telephony, the setting up of an MVNO and bundling of low cost handsets could be its USP in India. Nokia is planning to launch Nokia Life Tools, agriculture information and education services in a few months, according to Supply Chain. At present the company has piloted Life Tools in Maharashtra. Tata Teleservices already has a “Franchise Agreement” with Virgin Mobile. 

Ericsson, on the other hand, has not piloted an MVNO till date. Faced with dipping sales due to rising popularity of tower sharing amongst operators, this could be a chance for the company to diversify.

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