New Delhi: Tata Teleservices Ltd., the phone services arm of the $18-billion Tata Group, said it’s in talks with six companies to operate its towers, a business the company wants to separate.
The phone-services company will spend Rs35 billion, the same amount earmarked for this financial year ending 31 March, to expand its network in the next fiscal year beginning 1 April, Darryl Green, chief executive officer of Tata Teleservices, told reporters in Mumbai today.
Tata Teleservices, which is partly owned by Temasek Holdings Pte, a Singapore government investment company, is aiming for a near-sevenfold increase in subscribers to 100 million users by 2011 from 15.5 million now, Green said.
India’s government expects the number of mobile-phone users will more than triple to 500 million by 2010, from 150 million at the end of 2006. India, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, added 6.81 million new mobile-phone users in January.
Subscriber growth in India, the world’s second-most populous country, is being fueled by the cheapest call charges globally. Local mobile-call charges are as low as 2 US cents a minute in India. Only one in seven of India’s 1.1 billion people have mobile phones.
Temasek Holdings bought a 10 percent stake in Tata TeleServices last year.