Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) has decided to close down operations in 10 circles and has informed its subscribers to port over to other operators. The company intends to participate in the spectrum auctions starting 11 March 2013.
The order follows the 15 February Supreme Court order directing telecom firms that do not have spectrum and had not participated in November spectrum auctions to cease operations (See: Telecom firms with cancelled licences must end operations: SC).
A joint venture between Russia's Sistema and India's Shyam Group, SSTL, the CDMA operator that offers services under 'MTS' brand, said in a statement it will shut operations in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Orissa and Punjab.
The company's 21 licenses were cancelled by the Supreme Court on 2 February 2012.
"SSTL is providing a 30-day time window to all its customers in the 10 circles to exhaust their balance and to port out to a telecom operator of their choice," the statement said, adding it would impact about 22 lakh customers on its network.
"SSTL has a customer base of over 14 million, out of which less than 15 per cent come from the impacted circles," it said.