Qtel eyes India GSM opportunities

Qatar telecom giant looks to tap massive growth opportunities in subcontinent, says company official.

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By  Ola Galal Published  May 22, 2008

Qatar Telecommunications Company (Qtel) said on Wednesday it was looking at GSM opportunities in India to capitalise on the country's growth potential.

"We are interested in India, and we are looking at GSM opportunities there," Jeremy Sell, head of business development at Qtel International, told Reuters on the sidelines of a telecom finance conference in Dubai.

Sell declined to comment on a statement by India's Videocon Industries saying it had been approached by the Qatari telecom operator.

"We are looking at everything and comparing them financially. We are always in discussions, but there is nothing formal yet," he said.

The firm was looking either at buying into an existing operator or into an operator with a new licence, Sell said.

"It is [India] so big ... there is huge potential and [it] has a low cost base."

The company is also interested in Pakistan and Southeast Asia through its partner Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT), he said. "We'd like to be in Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia with this partner," he added.

Asked whether the firm was interested in bidding for Algeria's second fixed-line licence, he said: "We'd like to be more present in Algeria, but the second fixed-line licence is still being evaluated."

Qtel has a mobile licence in Algeria through its subsidiary National Mobile Telecommunications Company (Wataniya). (Reuters)

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