Tata Teleservices is dropping the name Docomo, before its agreement with Japanese mobile phone operator NTT Docomo to use the brand ends in June 2015. The agreement was signed in June 2014, and in July NTT Docomo had decided to exit Tata Teleservices.
As per ET report, the idea is to build a new brand without the name Docomo and the brand building exercise is likely to start this year. Till then, the company will continue with the current set of ads and not launch any new ad campaign.
“The telecom venture of the Tata Group has decided against building the DoCoMo brand since the two will eventually part ways in near future. It is likely to undergo a brand makeover,” a person familiar with the matter said.
Tata and NTT have had a complicated history.
In November 2008, the Japanese company had picked up a 26.5% stake in CDMA player Tata Teleservices for $2.7 billion. And as part of the initial deal, in case NT Docomo wanted to exit, it had the option to force Tata Group to find a buyer for its stake at 50% of the investment amount or fair market price.
In July 2014, it decided to exercise this option, however Tata was unable to find a suitable buyer to purchase its stake for about $1.3 billion within the deadline, hence in January 2015 NTT Docomo filed a case in London Court of International Arbitration to make sure that Tata Group finds a suitable buyer. And even though the Japanese corporation has ended its contract with Tata, according to a deal signed in June 2014, the company was allowed to retain the name Docomo for branding purposes.