Telecom operator Uninor closed its Mumbai operations on Sunday night following a Supreme Court (SC) order that carriers whose permits were revoked and did not win fresh rights to airwaves must stop services.
Telenor’s permits in 22 zones were among those ordered to be revoked by India’s supreme court last year after a massive scandal over the grant of cellular licences in a 2008 sale.
Telenor won rights to airwaves in six of those zones in an auction in November and has said it might decide to bid for spectrum in Mumbai zone in an auction due in March.
“Unfortunately, we have no choice now but to follow the court’s order and close down our network immediately,” Sigve Brekke, managing director of Telenor’s India operations, said in a statement.
The majority stakeholder of the company, Telenor participated in November 2012 auction through new entity Telewings Communications and won spectrum in six circles. Telenor is now in process of transferring business of Uninor in Maharashtra and Goa, Gujarat, UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh service areas, to Telewings Communications.
Uninor said its operations in these service areas “will continue as fresh spectrum for 20 years has already been secured.” Uninor will also sign roaming agreements with other operators to ensure that all Uninor customers get seamless connectivity when travelling to Mumbai.
“All Uninor customers from Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and other circles will continue to be able to use their Uninor phones in Mumbai,” the statement said.
The Telenor unit had 1.8 million customers in Mumbai as of December.