DOWN THE MEM­ORY LANE

Business Standard - - COMPANIES -

To be­gin with, Tatas placed all their faith in GSM & CDMA tech In 2006, de­cided to pull out of GSM Had an ear­lier JV with AB group and AT&T, known as BATATA In 2005, AT&T walked out Re­main­ing two In­dian part­ners face off be­cause Tatas held more than 10% in the JV, some­thing not al­lowed JV called Idea Cel­lu­lar No choice left, Tatas walk out, sell­ing 48.12% to es­tranged part­ner Tatas then place all bets on CDMA, a tech on the wane then In 2008, govt al­lows CDMA play­ers to re­ceive GSM spec­trum with­out sep­a­rate li­cences Tata Te­le­ser­vices re­turns to GSM by ac­quir­ing spec­trum Tatas rope in Ja­panese giant NTT Do­CoMo as JV part­ner Tata Te­le­ser­vices plays pric­ing game ag­gres­sively Move dents prof­itabil­ity of Tata-Do­CoMo As Do­CoMo readies to in­vest, 2G scam erupts, drag­ging in Tatas and oth­ers in Novem­ber 2010 In­vest­ments de­cline to a trickle, losses mount, cel­lu­lar tow­ers dwin­dle and mar­ket share vapourises Dif­fer­ences between NTT Do­CoMo and Tatas emerge on tech­nol­ogy and speed of JV Aborted at­tempts to sell busi­ness to Air­cel and then to Voda­fone In 2010, de­spite launch­ing 3G ser­vices ahead of oth­ers, Tata Te­le­ser­vices not able to tap first-mover ad­van­tage Tata Te­le­ser­vices wary of buy­ing spec­trum in auc­tions as NTT Do­CoMo in­sists on exit Both sides bat­tle it out in court In the end, the Ja­panese part­ner paid off by Tatas De­spite Tata group pump­ing in money, Tata Te­le­ser­vices’ losses do not ease Firm ut­terly un­pre­pared for dra­matic shift in the mar­ket from 3G to 4G LTE With Re­liance Jio un­veil­ing its ag­gres­sive pric­ing, mat­ters come to a head

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