Vodafone eyeing joint operations for Indian mobile operator

Vodafone Group will continue talks with India's Essar Group about jointly running mobile phone operator Hutchison Essar, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin as saying that the two companies were negotiating how best to run the mobile operator together.

'We are talking about a partnership for the future, but partnerships take a little while "&brkbar; to make sure we understand aspirations and everything else. We'll work it out in time,' Sarin said after a meeting with Essar Group's vice chairman Ravi Ruia.

Sarin said there was no timeframe for completing the talks, the Associated Press report added.

Vodafone is in the process of acquiring Hutchison Essar, India's fourth-largest mobile phone operator with about 23.3 million customers and 16.4 % of the market, the report said.

It has agreed to pay $11.1 billion for a 67% stake in the mobile operator held by Hutchison Telecom International, a holding company of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa, and its associates. Essar Group owns the remaining 33%.