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MTS belonging to Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL) has announced that it will shut services in 10 circles. MTS is the only operator offering services on the CDMA platform affected by the Supreme Court's order to cancel telecom licences.
The Gurgaon-based operator is among nine companies affected by the February 2012 ruling that cancelled 122 telecom licences and airwaves allocated in January 2008 on the grounds that the allotment procedure was flawed. The court ordered the spectrum be auctioned by the government. SSTL lost 21 of its 22 licences.
According to the company statement, "Over the last one year, the uncertainties resulting from such cancellation has compelled the company to conserve it's resources and initiate the process to inform its customers in 10 circles, i.e., Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Orissa and Punjab, to port out to other telecom operators of their choice. The decision comes at a time when the company is drawing a new blueprint for growth, making it future-ready."
Vsevolod Rozanov, president and chief executive officer, Sistema Shyam TeleServices said, "I would like to confirm our intention to participate in the upcoming spectrum auctions in March 2013. We are in the process of drawing an optimal strategy for the auctions based on several factors including spectrum pricing, levels of competition etc. The intent is to now look at life beyond all the uncertainties and build an even stronger MTS brand in India. The go-forward plan includes continuing with the company's focus on its data-centric, voice-enabled strategy in select circles.
This move affects about 2.2 million subscribers or around 15% of its subscriber base of 14 million. The customers have 30 days to move to a another telecom network.