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Etisalat follows Batelco out of India
23 February 2012
Etisalat joins Batelco in withdrawing from Indian mobile after court’s decision to cancel 122 2G licences
The Indian Supreme Court’s decision to cancel 122
2G mobile licences granted by the government in 2008 is forcing
Middle Eastern operators Etisalat and Batelco to withdraw from
their partnerships in the country.
Etisalat will close down its Etisalat DB joint venture with
Swan Telecom in India, eliminating more than 2,000 jobs. About
1.7 million customers will have to shift to another operator by
Bahrain’s Batelco has already announced that it
will exit India by selling back its 43% share in S Tel,
said the report. About 3.5 million users will be affected by
the close down of S Tel’s operations.
Etisalat said: "The decision has been taken in order to protect
the interests of all stakeholders and to avoid incurring
further costs at this time of rapid change and continued
uncertainty in the Indian telecommunications sector."
Etisalat and S Tel may be looking to claim damages from the
government, according to the report.
Etisalat wrote off $829 million on account of the cancellation
of 15 licences held by Etisalat DB.
The operator said it would consider returning to the Indian
market only after the telecommunications sector showed clarity
in the auction process and policies, as well as legal and
regulatory framework. GTB
Further reading from Global Telecoms Business:
India 'needs 400 days' for new
2G auction 21 Feb 2012
Batelco sells stake in Indian mobile
operator 10 Feb 2012
New 2G auction after India
cancels licences 02 Feb
Tikona signs up 220,000 for wifi alternative to
broadband ... 24 Jan