Virgin Group to foray into Indian mobile market

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) British billionaire and chairman of diversified Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson today said the company will foray into the Indian mobile telephony business along with a local partner very soon.

''We will be making the announcement in two and a half months time and it is not long before Virgin moves into Indian mobile business,'' he said here.

Recently, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has received 575 applications from 46 domestic and foreign firms to launch mobile services.

Sir Branson said the company has already decided on the local partner for its India venture.

In 2005, India had raised the ceiling for foreign ownership in telecommunications-services companies to 74 per cent from 49 per cent, paving the way for more foreign investment in the world's fastest-growing cellphone market.

Speculations have it that the Virgin Group is in talks with Tata Teleservices to introduce Virgin Mobile brand in India.

Under the venture, Virgin is planning to become an exclusive franchisee of Tata Teleservices and form a new entity largely owned by Tata Teleservices.

UNI

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