Operational strategies of Uninor post 2012 spectrum auction

Telecom Lead India: Operational strategies of Uninor post 2012 spectrum auction are evolving around profitability of six circles.

“Our priority in these 6 circles is to seamlessly transfer the Uninor business to the new company that has licenses to offer telecommunication services for 20 more years. In these circles, Uninor is stronger than before and more eager than ever. We will be a tough competitor and continue to be sabse sasta for all our customers while we achieve our break-even in each of these circles,” said Sigve Brekke, managing director of Uninor.

“This month, we reached break-even in our first circle UP East, within 35 months of launch. In the next 12 months, all of Uninor will break-even and become profitable. Our plan is to make this financially one of the strongest mobile operations in India,” Brekke added.

The company is also planning to bid for Mumbai. So that it can continue to operate in its existing circle.

Telenor has already secured fresh licenses and spectrum for the next 20 years in the 6 circles of UP East, UP West, Bihar (including Jharkhand), Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra (including Goa) through its new company.

The 6 circles where fresh spectrum has been secured together account for more than half of India’s population, 80 percent of Uninor’s subscribers and 83 percent of its workforce.

In its 6 circles, Uninor has a customer base of 30.26 million and makes its services available through 1600 distributors and 3.6 lakh points of sale.

However, Uninor will shut down operations in Kolkata and West Bengal on January 19, 2013.

Uninor admits that there will be job loss to some employees. It will relocate some of its employees from Kolkata and West Bengal to other circles and provide assistance in securing employment outside the company.

In Kolkata and West Bengal, Uninor has subscriber base of 5.6 million of which 57 percent are active on VLR as reported by TRAI in October 2012.

The company has strengthened its MNP code generation processes for customers. Uninor has dropped the 90-day lock in to allow customers to port-out even if they have taken up a Uninor subscription less than 90 days ago. Text SMS’es will be sent to all customers in Kolkata and West Bengal, encouraging them to exhaust their balance and port out to an operator of choice.

In all circles where Uninor services will no longer be available after January 18, 2013, the company will make a roaming arrangement to ensure that Uninor customers from the circles where services continue will be able to seamlessly use their Uninor connection while travelling to any other state anywhere in India.

The process of final settlements of all outstanding has been initiated with the company’s retailers and distributors in Kolkata and West Bengal. Uninor had concluded this process with 100 percent of its trade partners during the 4 circle scale down earlier.

Uninor expects a number of network sites to be freed up as a result of the closure of operations in the 2 commercial and twelve minimal rollout circles.

While there are no immediate plans towards this, the company will evaluate options to relocate this network infrastructure over time to the circles where its operations are continuing. Towards this, initial dialogue with each of the network partners is underway.

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