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Sistema says will not exit Indian telecom market

Last Updated: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 11:11

New Delhi: Russian conglomerate Sistema, which has a joint venture with Shyam Group, has said it will not exit the Indian telecom market as it is hopeful of a positive response on its curative petition from the apex court.

Sistema has 56.68 percent stake in Sistema Shyam Teleservices(SSTL), which offers services under the MTS brand.

The company's 21 licences awarded in 2008 by then Telecom Minister A Raja have been cancelled by the Supreme Court in February 2 order terming them illegal.

"Absolutely we will continue. We are putting all focus and hopes towards the legal route and we hope the Supreme Court to consider our curative petition," SSTL President and CEO Vsevolod Rozanov told PTI.

Terming that it has been "unfairly penalised in the February ruling of the Supreme Court", the company filed a curative petition seeking to restore its licences.

Asked if SSTL will take the acquisition route to continue its services, Rozanov said, "We never denied it that we are interested in potential acquisitions ... But there is nothing to report about any particular discussion."

SSTL, which provides CDMA services, has been arguing that there is no demand for the spectrum in which it operates and the prices set by government are very steep.

The company also stayed away from the spectrum auction.

Government has set minimum price of pan-India spectrum in 800 Mhz band around 11 times high compared to amount which companies paid to get it in 2008.

At the reserve price, each block of 800 Mhz band will cost Rs 4,550 crore.

The spectrum are proposed to be auctioned in blocks with each block having 1.25 Mhz airwaves frequencies that are required to transmit signals.


First Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 11:11
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