Keeping India On Speed Dial

When Arun Sarin, CEO of British mobile-phone operator Vodafone, flew to New Delhi last month to announce a $1.5 billion investment in India, he signaled that the country was back on the radar of the telecom giants. In the 1990s, American and European companies--including Vodafone--rushed in. They soon rediscovered an old problem: India's government was less business friendly than advertised. Vodafone sold off a stake in an Indian regional mobile-phone operator in 2003; many other foreign companies left too.

Vodaphone's re-entry into India through a purchase of a 10% stake in Bharti Tele-Ventures, a mobile-phone operator with nearly 15 million subscribers,...

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