NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile-phone operator, and Tata Teleservices Ltd. will invest $2 billion in their mobile-phone service venture in India.
Tata DoCoMo, as the new service based on the global system for mobile communications, or GSM, standard will be branded, plans to offer wireless phones across the nation starting in south India later this month, the companies said in New Delhi on Wednesday. Tata Teleservices currently uses the rival code division multiple access, or CDMA, standard.
The Tata-NTT Docomo combine is the latest to offer mobile phone services based on the popular GSM standard, which accounts for about 75 percent of India’s total 403.7 million mobile-phone users. Reliance Communications Ltd., India’ second-biggest mobile-phone company, started offering nationwide services based on the GSM standard in December along with its existing CDMA- based mobile phone services.
Tokyo-based DoCoMo, which bought a 26% stake in Tata Teleservices for 250 billion yen ($2.55 billion) in March, has no immediate plans to increase its stake in the Indian company, Toshinari Kunieda, senior vice-president of global business at DoCoMo, said on Wednesday.
India, the world’s largest mobile-phone services market after China, has added about 57 million mobile phone subscribers in the first four months of the year at an average rate of more than 14 million a month.