Uninor Rises Again With Renewed Vigor And A New Unified License

Estranged telecom service provider Uninor has risen from near oblivion and appears to have buckled up for long-term sustained business in India.


Mobile operator Telewings, an entity promoted by erstwhile Uninor majority stake holder Telenor, has secured the Unified License which are the new Telecom Operational Permits vital to offer a whole bouquet of services within the Indian region. The company confirmed the same via a statement,

We can confirm that new Unified Licenses have been received. This is license and spectrum for 20 years in the six circles of UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

Uninor just might be one of the most unfortunate telecom companies. With both the parent companies expressing displeasure working with each other, Uninor has faced extinction on multiple occasions, but it has shown true resilience in coming up again.

Though Telenor has successfully transferred assets of old venture Unitech Wireless to the new entity and rechristened the new entity as Telewings, the company continues to operate the mobile service under the Uninor Brand. Perhaps Telenor is confident that the brand name has a strong Indian association and its recollection factor just might help it to re-enter the market.

Telenor, a Norwegian mobile major, had tied-up with Unitech, a real estate firm to start Uninor, a multi–faceted telecom service company in India. But owing to the 2G Scandal, Uninor suffered heavy causalities and both the companies simply couldn’t come to a mutual understanding. Even after official cancellation of Uninor’s operating permit, both the partners continued to be locked in a bitter dispute over control of Uninor assets.

Eventually, both the companies signed an agreement in October 2012 wherein Unitech agreed to allow transfer of Uninor assets to Telewings. Ironically, it appears Unitech paid handsomely to dissolve its association with Unitech, though Telenor had been very open about its intention from the early stages of dispute.

Telenor has also received approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in June to raise its stake in Telewings from 49% at present to 74% and after receiving due approvals, the company now appears geared-up to continue its operations with a full 20 year license. With this renewed vigor and commitment, do you think Uninor will now prove to be a tough competitor to other players?

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