Operating on every day, every week basis: Sistema Shyam

Operating on every day, every week basis: Sistema Shyam New Delhi: Telecom operator Sistema Shyam Teleservices, whose licences expire in January, is operating on a "every day, every week basis" even as the company is awaiting the Supreme Court decision on the curative petition.

"There is a Plan A, but no Plan B. We came here as per government's invitation. We need to understand what is the way out. At this stage, we see there is sympathy that we can continue, we need to see how," Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) President and CEO Vsevolod Rozanov told reporters on the sidelines of Telecom Leadership Forum, 2012.

He added that there is no panic situation in the company and it is working on a "every day, every week basis".

"The solution lies not with me but with people who do policies. It is a regulated sector," he said.

A joint venture between Russian conglomerate Sistema and Shyam Teleservices, SSTL's 21 licences were among the 122 licences quashed by the Supreme Court in February.

The licences of the company, which operates under MTS brand, are valid till January 18, 2013, as per the Supreme Court order.

The company has filed a curative petition before the Supreme Court seeking restoration of its licences. The petition was filed on May 4 this year but has not been listed for hearing till date.

The company has consistently maintained that being a pure play CDMA operator, its legal case is significantly different compared to other mobile operators.

"There are 16 million customers, 7,000 jobs and three lakh retailers. There is a significant number of data customers that we have. It is a humble appeal to the government and the court that there is speedy resolution to the matter because we are coming close to January 18 and no one knows what to do," he added.

Talking about reports of SSTL being engaged in discussions with another operator for a potential acquisition, Rozanov said there are no such plans.

"The key thing that we are focusing on now is ensuring business continuity. I don't have any other task now. If our licences are cancelled, then all the other things will be irrelevant."

"If I am unable to serve my customers after January 19, it doesn't matter what kind of opportunities I have. If we are not able to operate then it makes no sense," he said.

To continue its operations, the company was required to participate in the recent spectrum auction.

However, the company did not participate in the auction.

Rozanov, however, said that the company may participate in the CDMA auction if the government fixes the reserve price at 2008 level.

The government plans to conduct another auction of CDMA spectrum till March end as there was no bidder for these airwaves in the recent sale.

PTI