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Kit vendors win big in India

Fourth placed Indian mobile operator, Hutchison Essar, is reportedly moving ahead with a $2bn tender for 35-40 million GSM lines.

The decision to go ahead with the contract comes as the operator’s shareholding structure is being investigated following Vodafone’s acquisition $11.1 billion deal to acquire 67 per cent of Hutchison Essar.

The controversial deal appears to violate some of India’s caps on foreign shareholding and concerns have also been raised over proposals for two Indian nationals to hold a 15 per cent stake in the company on Vodafone’s behalf.

Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola are understood to be preparing to enter bids for the contract.

Meanwhile, Nokia and Ericsson are set to split a $5bn Indian infrastructure deal between them after Motorola withdrew a legal challenge to the award of the contract by Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL).

A Delhi High Court froze the contract last year after Motorola claimed it had been unfairly eliminated from the tender.

Now Ericsson stands to get 60 per cent of the approximately 50 million lines contract, with Nokia getting the rest.


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