Indian state telcos to share network, offer some services jointly

NEW DELHI, Sept 24 Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:38am EDT

NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - India's two state-run telecommunications carriers -- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd -- signed a pact on Tuesday to share their infrastructure and provide joint services to corporate customers.

BSNL operates mobile, fixed-line and Internet services in 20 of India's 22 telecommunications zones, while MTNL operates in the key Delhi and Mumbai zones. Hit by intense competition from private sector rivals, both carriers have seen their market share eroding, and lost money in the past four fiscal years.

Under the pact, the two carriers will share assets like buildings, mobile masts and international long-distance phone networks, the companies said in a joint statement.

MTNL shares rose 9.7 percent to 15.25 rupees by 0530 GMT. BSNL is not publicly traded. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Sunil Nair)