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Augere to quit India and sell 4G spectrum
22 May 2012
Uncertainty in India’s telecoms sector leads Augere Wireless to sell spectrum and move out
Augere Wireless is ready to sell its 4G spectrum in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and quit its operations in India, local media has reported.
Lars Stork, the former Celtel executive who is CEO of Augere Wireless, told Economic Times: “There is a lot of uncertainty hanging over the telecoms sector in India. The cancellation of licences by the Supreme Court, [regulator] TRAI’s rules for re-auction and the exorbitantly high reserve price, as well as lack of clarity on the new telecoms policy, which was supposed to be unveiled by mid-last year and has not happened yet.”
Strok concluded: “All these factors have resulted in our investors stopping funding for our activities here.”
Augere — which is chaired by former Orange CEO Sanjiv Ahuja, who also ran US wireless project LightSquared — was due to introduce wireless broadband services in the second half of 2012. Stork told Economic Times that the company has asked its employees to go on leave as it was reconsidering its plans.
Telenor and Sistema, which have lost their licences, have also indicated they will cease operation, stating that they will not participate in the forthcoming spectrum auctions if the government agrees TRAI’s recommendations.
Stork added: “When you stop operations, it is natural that people will say we want to sell. We will take four to six weeks to reconsider our India plans.” GTB
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