Uninor shuts up shop in Mumbai

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
India's Uninor has been forced to pull the plug on around 1.8 million mobile customers in Mumbai, as Indian operators lose an appeal against the cancellation of 122 2G licenses.
 
Uninor shut down operations in the key telecom circle on Sunday, the company said in a statement
 
The shutdown was enacted in accordance with a court directive that operators with cancelled licenses must cease operating, unless they have won spectrum in the recent re-auction or are bidding in an upcoming one.
 
While Uninor did participate in the November auction and won back spectrum in six circles, it did not submit a bid for spectrum in the Mumbai region.
 
“We have pursued every alternative possible to continue our operations in Mumbai until the new auction takes place. Now the Court has ordered an immediate closure of operations and no temporary license is available to allow a gradual process,” Uninor managing director Sigve Brekke said.
 
Uninor said it would seek roaming agreements with rivals still operating in Mumbai, to ensure that customers from its six remaining circles can still make calls while in the region.
 
The company has also pledged to “extend all possible assistance” to help its Mumbai employees find new jobs.
 
The shutdown comes days after India's high court rejected four separate appeals against its February 2012 decision to have the licenses cancelled. 
 
The appeals - filed by Sistema Shyam, Idea Cellular, Videocon and Tata Teleservices – were found to be invalid, Reuters reported. This marked the last stage of domestic appeals available to the eight operators affected by the license cancellation.

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