After S Tel, Etisalat to wind up telecom operations in India

By Telecom Lead Team: Etisalat has decided to shut its
India mobile operations after Supreme Court cancelled 15 licences held by its
joint venture Etisalat DB, as part of an investigation into the grant of 2G
licences. Recently, S Tel also indicated about closure of its telecom service.


The decision will affect about 1.67 million subscribers
and its employees. Most of its mobile users are in northern India. The pullout
will impact about Rs 2,500 crore in bank loans to the company.


“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,” Etisalat said in a statement.


Etisalat takes $829 million hit on Indian mobile income

Recently, Etisalat announced that it would take a $829
million hit on its Indian income after the Supreme Court cancelled all 15
mobile permits held by the Gulf carrier’s joint venture.

In another development, Norway’s Telenor wrote down $721 million in licences
and goodwill in India after all its 22 mobile permits were quashed by the apex


Etisalat said it would decide on any future participation
in the Indian market when there is clarity on a spectrum auction process and
regulatory policy.


Recently, mobile operator S Tel, which is set to lose its
licence after the Supreme Court verdict, said it is helping clients switch to
other operators amid media reports suggesting shut down of its operations.


The Supreme Court ordered on February 2 that all 122
licences issued under a scandal-tainted 2008 sale be revoked within four months
and asked the industry regulator to propose rules for an auction of licences
and spectrum.


The companies whose licences were cancelled have the
right to bid in an auction to regain the licences and radio airwaves.


Recently, Bahrain Telecommunications sold its 43 percent
stake in S Tel for $175 million, without making any profit from the telecom
venture in India.


No profit telecom deal: Batelco exit exposes troubles in mobile

Batelco will sell the stake to its India partner Sky City
Foundation Ltd, for the same price that it paid to acquire the S Tel holding in


S Tel had 3.6 million customers as of December and ranked
12th out of 15 players by subscriber base. It has licences for six smaller
telecoms zones out of a total 22. S Tel also owns 3G radio spectrum in three


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