AT&T plans to enter Indian Telecom Sector for Second time

AT&T looking for Unified License
US telecom major AT&T has applied for a unified access service license (UASL) for all the 22 circles in India. The US Company has a user base of 65.1 million in the US. AT&T filed the application on the last day. Indian Telecom sector has witnessed a tremendous gain in subscriber base in last few years.

AT&T is trying to enter the Indian Telecom market for second time. Bharti Airtel has crossed subscriber base of 50 million in September. With big players like AT&T entering Indian Telecom sector, consumers can expect better services. The prices for calling are already lower in India compared to any other country in the world.

As Telecom sector allows a FDI limit of 74% only, AT&T has partnered with Mahindra Telecom. The company statement said, “This is an important step toward participating in India’s upcoming spectrum allocation proceedings. AT&T is extending its successful partnership with Mahindra Telecommunications Private Ltd, through AT&T India, to apply for the Universal Access Service Licence.”

Department of Telecom has received nearly 300 applications for license. The spectrum is limited and there are many new players in the market. DoT has issued fresh guidelines to weed out non serious companies. Real Estate players like DLF, Parsavnath and Omaxe have also filed application for Unified Licenses. DoT has formed an internal committee to frame strict guidelines. The applications will be scrutinized by the internal committee within next couple of weeks.

AT&T was earlier offering services in India in partnership with Idea Cellular, but sold its stake in year 2005. AT&T had invested in Idea Cellular through a Mauritius based company. Idea Cellular was a JV between AT&T, Tata Group and AV Birla Group.