Sistema Shyam hoping to sell IT infrastructure to IBM (Lead)

May 21st, 2009 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

By Pupul Dutta
Kolkata, May 21 (IANS) Telecom operator Sistema Shyam Teleservices is planning to outsource a portion of its Internet infrastructure to global IT behemoth IBM, and hopes to sew up the deal some time next year, people aware of the development say.

Sistema Shyam, a joint venture company between Russia’s Sistema and India’s Shyam group, plans to outsource “a portion” of its IT infrastructure, an industry official told IANS requesting anonymity.

“This deal with IBM will materialise only by next year, it’s going to be a huge contract,” the official said, without spelling out the financial details.

Meanwhile, Sistema Shyam Thursday launched its CDMA services for the West Bengal circle, and said it would invest $150 million in this telecom service area over the next four years.

The company had earlier launched CDMA services in the Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Rajasthan circles.

“Our current investment in the state is approximately $80 million. We plan to invest around $150 million in the next three-four years,” said company president and chief executive Vsevolod Rozanov at the launch of the service here.

The company, which has earmarked $5.5-billion for investment in India, plans to spend about $600-700 million by the end of this year.

“We will complete the launch of 11 telecom circles by the end of 2009. For this we will invest approximately $600-700 million,” Rozanov told IANS.

Sistema Shyam was granted licences and spectrum last year to provide CDMA mobile services in 22 circles last year.

“We also plan to launch EVDO services (evolution data optimised) service by end of this year,” Rozanov said.

EVDO services enable a user to connect to the Internet faster.

Regarding the Russian government’s interest in acquiring a stake in the company, Rozanov said: “We are still in talks with the government. It will be somewhere close to 20 percent stake that the government is looking to acquire.”

According to him, the Russian government has set aside $670 million to infuse in the company.

Quizzed on when he expected to see Sistema Shyam breaking even, Rozanov said: “Not before three years.”

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