Uninor shuts down Mumbai mobile biz, MTS says it will continue….

Telecom Lead India: Mobile service provider Uninor closed its Mumbai operations from midnight on Saturday following a Supreme Court order.

Meanwhile, MTS India (Sistema Shyam Teleservices) says it will continue its mobile service business as India did not conduct CDMA spectrum auction in November 2012.

The decision to shut down Mumbai operations without prior notice affected around 18 lakh mobile users.

Uninor is planning to bid for Mumbai license when the 2G auction happens in March.

Uninor will sign roaming agreements with other operators to ensure that all Uninor customers get seamless connectivity when travelling to Mumbai.

All Uninor customers from Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and other circles will continue to be able to use their Uninor phones in Mumbai.

The court had cancelled 22 licences of Uninor in February 2012.

According to Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL) spokesperson, the Supreme Court’s order on 15th February 2013 does not impact the company and any of its operations as it relates to telecom operators who had not participated in the spectrum auctions on 12 and 14 November 2012. The auctions done was for the GSM spectrum (1800 Mhz). SSTL on the other hand being a pure play CDMA operator provides its telecom services using the 800 Mhz spectrum.

SSTL says the company filed an application dated 10 January 2013 in the Supreme Court saying that the company wants to continue its operations and intends to participate in upcoming auctions in March 2013. The Supreme Court is going to give a separate order on the same. The said order is awaited.

Telenor participated in November 2012 auction through new entity Telewings Communications and won spectrum in six circles — Maharashtra and Goa, Gujarat, UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

Uninor said its operations in these service areas will continue as fresh spectrum for 20 years has already been secured.

Uninor Managing Director Sigve Brekke says the Court has ordered an immediate closure of operations and no temporary license too is available to allow a gradual process. “Unfortunately, we have no choice now but to follow the Court’s order and close down our network immediately.”

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