Mer Group of Israel looks for partners in India

Updated: Feb 19 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Israel-based communications infrastructure solutions provider Mer Group is planning to enter India. The company, which focuses on cell site management and network planning for cellular operators, is currently scouting for local partners.

Mer, which clocked sales worth $109 million in the financial year 2000, has over 1500 employees worldwide.

“The company is exploring the possibility of having an agent or joint venture partner in India, who has good connections with the main telecom operating companies and is familiar with the telecom infrastructure market,” said Mer and Company Limited director marketing and sales Rik Verhorst.

“The main objective of the Indian operations would be to supply turnkey projects and sub-contracting services to local telecom operations/equipment vendors,” he added.

Mr Verhorst was recently in India as part of the Israel delegation, which came to India on a weeklong visit to explore the Indian market and meet prospective business partners and customers. During the visit, Mr Verhorst met all the Indian cellular majors including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Bharti Enterprises, Hutchison, BPL, and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to make a pitch for Mer’s communications network management solutions and to better understand the challenges of operating in the Indian market.

“The Indian market is very challenging in the sense that it is very regionalised. We will try to bring in concepts like sharing towers and cell sites with competition to bring down costs. However, this is still a very novel concept for the Indian market,” he explained.

According to Mr Verhorst, Mer’s network infrastructure portfolio includes site development, installation, optimisation of operations, maintenance and network engineering, as well as total network management.

Mer group products include towers, cell-on-wheels, fully equipped shelters, peripheral equipment for shelters and towers. The group’s product offerings also include a customer care and billing system in an Internet Protocol (IP)/broadband environment as well as a fully integrated portal-based network manager or managers systems.