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Spectrum auction: SSTL submits application

Posted on Feb 25, 07:00PM | IBNS

Gurgaon, Feb 25 : Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. (SSTL) that provides telecom services under brand MTS on Monday said it has submitted its application for participation in spectrum auctions for the 800MHz band. In a media statement on Monday, the company said: "Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL) is committed to its operations in India. The Company today submitted its application to participate in the 800 Mhz spectrum auctions in March 2013."

"Post auctions with the operational footprint clearly defined, the plan is to focus on SSTL's data centric-voice enabled strategy in select circles and build an even stronger MTS brand in India," it said.

On Feb 21, SSTL confirmed its intention to participate in the spectrum auctions starting Mar 11.

It may be recalled, 21 of SSTL's licenses were cancelled by the Supreme Court of India in an order dated Feb 2, 2012.

"Over the last one year, the uncertainties resulting from such cancellation has compelled the Company to conserve it's resources and initiate the process to inform its customers in 10 circles i.e. Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Orissa and Punjab to port out to other telecom operators of their choice," said SSTL in a statement.

"The decision comes at a time, when the Company is drawing a new blue print for growth, making it future ready. The Government of India has confirmed that SSTL will be able to set off previous licence costs against the new auction prices," the company said.

According to Vsevolod Rozanov, President & CEO, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd., "I would like to confirm our intention to participate in the upcoming spectrum auctions in March 2013. We are in the process of drawing an optimal strategy for the auctions based on several factors including spectrum pricing, levels of competition etc.

"The intent is to now look at life beyond all the uncertainties and build an even stronger MTS brand in India. The go forward plan includes continuing with the Company's focus on its data centric-voice enabled strategy in select circles."

As of Jan 31, SSTL has an on roll employee count of about 3000, out of which less than 10% are employed in the 10 circles and would be affected.

"Full effort is being made to absorb maximum number of employees in other circles. In-addition, care is being taken to place some of the employees in other Companies. The Company will also be closely working with all its local partners to address their concerns," the company said.

SSTL has a customer base of over 14 million, out of which less than 15% come from the impacted circles.