According to this post on Bloomberg a few hours ago, DoCoMo is preparing to announce they will take a stake in Tata Teleservices. A company official, who asked not to be identified, is quoted as stating “The board approved the investment today” but declined to provide the size of investment, which the Nikkei Net Interactive site reported at 260 billion yen ($2.7 billion) for a 26 percent stake. If this happens – which seems quite possible – it would represent their largest overseas investment since the AT&T adventure back in 2000. This could be rather interesting Update: It’s Official
The company plans to spend $1.5 billion to buy a 25 percent stake, Sankei newspaper reported today, without saying where it obtained the information. No decision has been made regarding a stake in Tata Teleservices, DoCoMo said in a statement in response to the Sankei report. Anil Kumar Sardana, managing director of Tata Teleservices, wasn’t immediately available for comment.
While the article points out that Tata holds India’s #6 position for market share, it did not mention that the company is running on Qualcomms CDMA network. Considering the past strategies of DoCoMo to act as a technology partner in other markets, if true, this represents an ‘unusual’ decision. The company was left at the alter with Hutch Essar last spring, thanks to Vodafone, so this would appear to be their alternative solution for getting into the game.