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Govt renews ISP license for Verizon Communications

The government has renewed the Internet service provider (ISP) licence of US-based telecom service provider, Verizon Communications. The company has been providing services in India for over 20 years, but had not completely disclosed its shareholding pattern while providing a declaration statement last year. As a result it was asked to apply fresh for the ISP licence

The renewal took time as the government wanted to know whether any country sharing border with India held substantial stake in the company. It was found that stake by such countries is minuscule and does not warrant any concern, sources said.

Verizon Communications India could not be immediately reached for comments.

As per the government’s foreign direct investment norms, investments in India from bordering nations such as China, Pakistan, Bangaldesh, needs approval even if they are in sectors where 100% FDI is allowed under automatic route. Therefore, foreign companies operating in the country mandatorily need to disclose such ownership.

The department of telecommunications (DoT) is following a similar approval process for foreign companies such as Amazon Kuiper and Starlink, in the satellite communication (satcom) space.

Just-like the US, in India, Verizon does not provide consumer Internet services. The company is focusing on expanding its enterprise business including private 5G solutions. Verizon is also offering enterprises with network transformation, Internet protocol, data centre and cybersecurity cloud solutions.

Verizon team in India is also working on next generation technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, extended reality, chatbot solutions, and other technologies for patent.

Recently, Verizon Business, enterprise arm of Verizon Communications signed a $2.1 billion deal with IT major HCLTech, for providing primary managed network services (MNS) to its global enterprise customers.

In 2008, Verizon Business expanded its presence in India by entering into a joint venture with the now insolvent Videocon Group. As per the deal, Verizon Business held a 74% stake in the joint venture, called Verizon Communications India, whereas Videocon Group held the remaining 26%. Financial Express

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