China Mobile has reportedly approached Indian operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to discuss a possible joint venture to deliver cloud services in the market.
According to Live Mint, the Chinese market leader would be open to setting up a business with either operator, or indeed both, to offer cloud networking services. The business news outlet noted that China Mobile would hold enough of the business to make executive interventions, but wanted the Indian partner to manage the unit day-to-day.
Within its home market, China Mobile offers Cloud Connect, which provides cloud services, infrastructure and platforms to the enterprise sector. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are also active in the sector in India; given its growth potential, both will likely be keen to launch cloud ventures with funding from China Mobile, particularly in the wake of the Indian Supreme Court’s recent ruling.
With the country’s highest court upholding the Department of Telecommunications’ new definition of adjusted gross revenue, India’s operators are now on the hook for spectrum usage and licence fees that were previous excluded from gross figures.
The Economic Times estimates Airtel’s liabilities at around INR350 billion ($4.9 billion), and the operator has issued shares worth as much as $2 billion in order to generate funds. Additionally, it is looking to sell $1 billion in bonds to overseas investors. Vodafone Idea has earmarked INR257 billion ($3.6 billion) to address its bill.