In a move that may impact the ongoing debate on allotment of wireless spectrum and capping the number of operators, Delhi-based real estate firm Parsvnath Developers Ltd (PDL) has applied to the government to provide unified access services in 22 telecom circles across the country.
With the government following an open policy on spectrum allocation, Parsvnath is seeking to use this opportunity to provide a unified access service on a pan-India basis, including rural telephony, said Pradeep Jain, PDL’s chairman.
The company has already joined hand with one of the leading global telecom giants and a domestic financial investor to join the telecom boom, which has created largest wealth for investors in the last couple of years.
According to company sources, the PDL will have a 26 per cent stake in the company while the foreign players will hold around 51 per cent and the balance will be with the financial investors.
A licence for unified access services would entail a 2G licence for GSM and a “triple play” of television, telephone and Internet services.
Jain said, “This is a great opportunity for the company to diversify into a new business area, which is continuously growing. Despite an increasing number of subscribers, the penetration of mobile telephony in India is still low as compared to developed countries. As and when number portability is introduced, it would offer immense business opportunity to new entrants”.
Jain however, refused to disclose name the foreign partners and details of the business plan. “The investment is a function of the growth in and coverage of area. We will generate enough resources for investment,” he added.
Existing operators have suggested that the current number of players in each circles, which is seven,should be capped. “In case the government is going to restrict the number my application should be considered before that,” Jain said.
The company's diversification will be the first outside the real estate-related businesses such as townships, special economic zones and hospitality. India is the world's fastest- growing telecom market and has attracted interest from a number of domestic as well as international investors.