Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), which runs its telecom services under MTS brand, on Thursday said it will shut operations in ten circles including Bihar, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab even as it drawing up a strategy to take part in the 2G spectrum auction scheduled to start March 11.
SSTL’s decision comes after the apex court ordered that operators whose licences were quashed last February and who did not participate or were unsuccessful in the November 2G auction should discontinue operations with immediate effect. Sistema had not taken part in the November auction.
The participation in March 11 auction, however, is subject to the Supreme Court’s decision on a separate application filed by SSTL on January 10 expressing interest in the upcoming auctions.
“Over the last one year, the uncertainties resulting from such cancellation has compelled the company to conserve its resources and initiate the process to inform its customers in 10 circles – Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Orissa and Punjab -- to port out to other operators of their choice,” it said.
The 10 circles constitute less than 15% to the overall revenue, the company said.
While it did not specify if it was open for CDMA as well as GSM spectrum auction, SSTL, which has its CDMA services across the country so far, said it is drawing a new blueprint for growth, making it future ready.
“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 to look at life beyond all the uncertainties and build an even stronger MTS brand in India,” the statement said.
The company also said that the plan includes continuing with the go-forward focus on its data centric-voice enabled strategy in select circles. SSTL had not participated in the CDMA auctions which had been scheduled for November.
According to the company, almost 10% of the total staff strength of 3,000 is employed in 10 circles and it is making efforts to absorb maximum number of employees in other circles.