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MTNL hires PricewaterhouseCoopers to scout for franchisee for BWA services
May, 23rd 2011

State-owned MTNL today said it has hired global consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for framing the expression of interest (EoI) for renting out BWA spectrum to a franchisee.

"For the BWA we have hired a consultant PwC for framing EoI and advise us how to go about the franchisee model to rent out our BWA spectrum in Delhi and Mumbai," MTNL CMD Kuldeep Singh said.

MTNL operates in Delhi and Mumbai and was allocated 3G and BWA spectrum about two years ago and had paid for it in line with other private players who bid for the airwaves in the auction held last year in May-June.

For BWA, Delhi and Mumbai saw the highest bids at Rs 2,241.02 crore and 2,292.95 crore, respectively.

Asked whether, MTNL will go for Long Term Evolution (LTE) or WiMax technology, he said, "We will leave it to the franchisee...We are open to any technology LTE or WiMax."

LTE technology offers much faster internet speeds that allow users to stream high quality audio and video. Whereas, Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMaX) provides wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access.

MTNL has already launched 3G mobile services. Earlier, MTNL had taken the same franchise route to sell its 3G services in two circles and had floated a global Expression of Interest for 3G services Franchisee. But, the tender is still on hold due to procedural issues.

The telecom major had reported a net loss of Rs 2,826 crore in FY'11, up 8.27 per cent from Rs 2,610.9 crore in the same period previous year.

Total income rose to Rs 3,841.2 crore as against Rs 3,781 during the period under consideration.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) is planning to restructure its Rs 7,000 crore loan taken for buying 3G and BWA spectrum last year.

The PSU is planning to convert Rs 3,000 crore loan into long term debt.

The company has already restructured Rs 3,500 crore of debt, repaying Rs 500 crore and tying up with two state-run banks for the rest Rs 3,000 crore, sources in the know said.

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