Thursday, February 23, 2012

Etisalat to quit India Operations

Etisalat DB, an Abu Dhabi based Telecom Company will shut down the operation of its joint venture in India following the Supreme Court’s verdict of cancelling its telecom licenses.

On Wednesday, the company announced that, "As unanimously resolved by the Board this evening, Etisalat DB will be taking steps to reduce operating costs, including the suspension of its network and services, pursuant to the terms of its UAS licenses."

It added that "The decision has been taken in order to protect the interests of all stakeholders and to avoid incurring further costs at this time of rapid change and continued uncertainty in the Indian telecommunications sector."

Etisalat came to India subsequent to the 2008 licensing process, through the gaining of a 45 per cent stake as part of a joint venture with DB Realty, an Indian real estate company.

About DB it is reported that, DB Group was a green horn telecom company that offer for mobile licenses and then sold stakes in their cellular ventures to foreign investors, like Etisalat and Norway’s Telenor, for bulky sums.

Top executives of DB and other companies along with Raja and others are the people facing charges over the scandal now.

Reportedly, Etisalat had paid $900 million for its stake in the Indian mobile operation and had invested an estimated $1bn in its network by the end of 2011.

Supreme Court had cancelled licenses of 10 mobile operators following an investigation into corruption in the allocation of second-generation mobile licenses. Recently Supreme Court had also cancelled all 122 UAS licenses regarding irregularities in allotting 2G spectrums. However, Etisalat DB, expects India’s government “to fairly compensate investors” for the license losses.

Etisalat DB is also known in the name ‘Cheers Mobile’. It had Unified Services Access (USA) License in 15 circles including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar and has approximately 16 lakh subscribers. Now the company will allow 30 days time to its customers to PORT OUT from its service and PORT IN to another operator using Mobile Number Portability (MNP).

Earlier S TEL, another company allied with Batelco of Bahrain had also left India following the Supreme Court’s order.

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