Japanese mobile major NTT DoCoMo yestersday said that it is open to the idea of increasing its stake cent in its joint venture with Tata Teleservices, as well as setting up a research and development centre in India. However, it has no immediate plans to do this.
"We are comfortable with our 26-per cent stake in Tata Teleservices currently. However, nobody knows the future. We might increase this," the company's senior vice-president and managing director, global business division, Toshinari Kunieda, told newspersons in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Kuneida said the joint venture could well buy out some of the new entrants in the telecom arena. "With so many new players coming, consolidation will happen and we would take a look at buying into the new players in the Indian telecom space in future. But that is not the agenda at the moment," he said.
The deal whereby DoCoMo acquired 26 per cent of TTSL for Rs12,740 crore was completed in March this year, in accordance with the agreement announced by the parties last November. The acquisition included 20 per cent newly issued shares and 6 per cent shares purchased from existing shareholders.
Kunieda said DoCoMo is happy with its representation of three board members and nine officials working in various capacities in TTSL. He added that he hopes the joint venture starts contributing towards DoCoMo's bottomline in the next three years.
The joint venture, under the brand name 'Tata Docomo', offers GSM-based telecom services in eight circles, including all of southern India, and is about to launch services in 10 more circles in October. So far, TTSL has been predominantly a CDMA player.