Sistema to stop ops in 10 circles

Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) has said it will participate in the spectrum auction to be held next month but it will close operations in 10 circles 30 days from now.

The circles where the company will close operations are Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Orissa and Punjab. The company provides service under MTS brand name and its subscribers in these area will now have to port out to other telecom operators of their choice.

The closing down of SSTL's operation in 10 circles will impact around 2.2 million out of its over 14 million customers. These 2.2 million subscribers will get a 30-day window to exhaust their balance and port out to an operator of their choice. Except for one circle, Sistema had lost all its 22 licences after the Supreme Court ordered, last year, the cancellation of 122 licenses. The company has to reapply for these circles.

Meanwhile, SSTL President and CEO Vsevolod Rozanov said, "I would like to confirm our intention to participate in the upcoming spectrum auctions in March 2013."

SSTL is owned by Russian firm Sistema JSFC and the Russian government, which hold 56.68 per cent and 17.14 per cent stake, respectively.

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