SSTL wins spectrum in 8 circles
Mumbai, Mar 11 : Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. (SSTL) that provides telecom services under brand MTS on Monday won spectrum in the 800 MHz band in eight circles.
The circles won by MTS India include Delhi, Kolkata, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.
"The Company's operational footprint to also include Rajasthan circle which was not affected by the Honorable Supreme Court of India's order dated 2nd February '2012," said SSTL in a statement.
While bidding for spectrum in the auctions, MTS India considered a range of variables including spectrum pricing, number of carrier slots available, levels of competition, future data potential in the circles etc.
"Based on such criteria, the Company also decided not to bid for Mumbai, Maharashtra and UP East circles and would be immediately initiating the process to inform its customers in 3 circles to port out to other telecom operators of their choice," said SSTL.
According to Vsevolod Rozanov, President & CEO, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd., "Given the range of variables we have considered and the spectrum cost for 800 Mhz, it was a big challenge to arrive at a core list of 8 circles and to bid accordingly.
"With Rajasthan circle also a part of MTS India's footprint, we would be able to service 40% of country's population, address over 60% of data business potential, safeguard 75% of our current revenues and significantly optimize our losses."
"Our go forward plan includes building an even stronger MTS brand in the country by focusing on our data centric-voice enabled strategy," Rozanov said.
The spectrum won by SSTL in eight circles is technology neutral and would be valid for 20 years.
The company would be required to pay INR 3,639 crores for the license period.
The terms include payment of 25% of the final bid amount within 10 days, followed by a payment moratorium until March 2016, after which the balance amount will be paid in 10 equal annual installments
. The Government of India has confirmed that SSTL will be able to set off the previous license cost of INR 1,626 crores against the new spectrum cost.
As of Feb 28, SSTL has on rolls employee count of about 2,850 out of which 15% are employed in the 3 circles where the company decided not to bid and would therefore be affected.
"Full efforts are 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," said SSTL.
The company said it will also be closely working with all its local partners to address their concerns.
SSTL has a customer base of over 12.1 million, out of which 13% come from the impacted circles.