US to bring more investments to Indian telecom sector

By : |June 24, 1999 0

The period between 1999-2003 will witness US investments worth $4.6 billion in the telecom
sector as against $3.9 billion during 1990-98. This is stated in a survey conducted by the
US Embassy based on the book value investment data from 118 US firms operating in India.

Ashok Sapra, President, AT&T India, spelled out these survey findings at a seminar
organised by CII on Communications: Collaboration in business between India and the US.
Also present at the seminar was the US Ambassador to India, Richard Celeste. Calling
himself as an expert in `zero technology’, Celeste said communication is changing the
world economy and that a large number of US companies are keen to participate in the
ongoing communication revolution here in India.

According to Sapra, in India, US companies have participated in as many as 40% of the
total JVs in cellular industry and 58% in basic services. "And since Indian Telecom
sector would need an investment worth $60 billion by the year 2007," he said,
"obviously India is the most sought after sector for the US companies."

In near future too, India offers a great investment opportunity in its telecom sector.
According to Sapra, since cellular telephony is catching up at a rapid pace, even with
minimal penetration, the Indian market offers a huge potential. The New Telecom Policy
also envisages additional opportunities for cellular and basic licensees in June this year
when multiple operators will be allowed for in the new circles.

However, he too was not without his apprehensions when it came to Red Tape and changing
interpretation of existing rules and regulations. "It leads to expensive delays and
undermined the investor confidence," said Sapra.

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