Asians buying up phone networks

Asian phone companies are buying up optical networks world wide on the cheap, reports Newsweek. Nothing surprising to the readers here, but still it is going to come as big news for the world at large, that many Asian companies are buying up companies at 10 cents on a dollar, sometimes even cheaper.

The digital networks on which American carriers spent billions in the late 1990s are being snapped up in fire sales by foreigners—and Asians are leading the pack. Since last year Global Crossing has been purchased by Singapore’s ST Telemedia, Flag by Reliance of India. Now Tata of India is bidding for the network built by scandal-ravaged Tyco.

The article says that Asians buying these networks could have serious ramifications for hardware companies since these nets give a good chance to local equipment powers such as ZTE Corp, and Huawei.

“Instead of being small players who have to pay big fees to use the international networks of companies like MCI or AT&T or France Telecom, some of the Asian telecoms can now sit down as equals and simply swap the use of the networks for free,” notes OECD economist Sam Paltridge. The result, he says, is “cheaper calls for all of us.”

Meanwhile, India is likely to announce its broadband policy in two months. Two months too late, if you ask me.