Sistema intends to continue India ops, but doesn't say how

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 19:00 hrs

Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which operates in India under the MTS brand, on Thursday informed its customers that it intended to continue operations beyond January 18. The company has also said it was taking further steps to continue service in India. It has 16 million customers in India.

Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which will lose all its operating permits expect Rajasthan, as a result of a February Supreme Court cancelling 122 telecom licences for alleged corruption in spectrum allocation.

“MTS wishes to inform millions of its customers that being fully committed to its customers and the investments it has made in India, it intends to continue its operations beyond January 18, 2013,” Sistema said in message to its customers. In May, Sistema had filed a curative petition before the Supreme Court seeking reinstatement of its licences, which is yet to come for hearing. Russia’s Sistema JSFC, which has a 56.68 per cent stake in Sistema Shyam Teleservices, has already issued notice to Indian government for resolving the licence issue.

Recently, Sistema asked the Indian government to either resolve the issue, or it would seek “billions of dollars” in damages from India. The message to customers comes in the backdrop of a Trai directive asking the telcos whose licences were quashed to inform subscribers by December 27 if they were discontinuing service in circles where they don’t hold spectrum to operate beyond January 18, 2013.

“The message to this effect has been sent out by SMS to millions of its customers. In addition, the company has also hosted the same message on its website,” Sistema said in a statement.

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