US-based Telcordia Technologies, which is now part of Ericsson, has sought approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to increase stake in the Indian entity to 100% from 74% at present, according to industry sources.
Telcordia had entered India in March 2009 through a joint venture – MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions to work as one of the two clearing houses for managing mobile number portability (MNP). Telcordia has a 74% stake in the company and Deepak Talwar Consultants Pvt Ltd has a 26% stake. Telcordia declined comments.
Telcordia’s MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions and Syniverse Technologies India are the two companies that have government’s approval to manage MNP implementation in India. However, MNP has not picked up as it is restricted to within a telecom circle. According to data published by Trai, about 123.87 million subscribers have submitted their requests for MNP till June 2014 since the Government permitted porting of mobile numbers in November 2010.
While the telecom department has “broadly agreed” with the proposal for nationwide MNP in June, the roll-out is stuck it has sought clarifications from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on certain issues. Nationwide MNP will enable consumers to retain their number even if they relocate from one telecom circle to another. It will also allow mobile users to switch service providers, irrespective of the circle without changing their numbers. However, implementation of nationwide MNP is unlikely to come true anytime soon.
If Telcordia gets FIPB approval to raise stake to 100%, it would be the second non-operator telecom firm to have 100% control in its Indian entity after the government decided to allow 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector.
Last year, Singapore-based SingTel has received approval from FIPB to increase its stake in SingTel Global (India) Private Ltd, which provides international long distance (ILD) services in India, to 100 per cent from 74%. The remaining stake was owned by Bharti Enterprises (9.9%) and Leela Lace Software Solutions Pvt Ltd (16.01%).