SC orders Telenor & Systema to Shutdown services Immediately!


Supreme Court today (Friday, Feb 15th 2013) ordered Telecom firms whose licenses were revoked last year to shut down their operations in India immediately unless they have acquired fresh permits from new auction.

This court order is a body blow to India arm of Telenor that operates in Mumbai, as well Shyam Sistema. Earlier this month, both the operators were given time till March 11th to carry on the operations. The SC hearing was supposed to be done on 4th of this month, but was postponed till March 11th.


Telenor had few days back said that it will not participate in auction (for Mumbai circle) that were supposed to be held in March, unless the reserve price for 1800 Mhz spectrum is not brought down by atleast 50%. Last November, they had won spectrum in Gujarat, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh east, Uttar Pradesh west and Andhra Pradesh.

MTS on the other hand did not participate in the November auction, but was supposed to participate in the auction for spectrum for 800 MHz band to be held in March.

However, with today’s Supreme Court decision, millions of mobile subscribers may get affected severely. As per TRAI’s December 2012 report, Sistema had 14.9 million subscribers across India, while Telenor had 41.5 million. While subscribers can keep their mobile numbers and port out using MNP facility, the entire process generally takes few days, during which time these subscribers will be in a limbo!

In addition to stopping the services, the Supreme Court order also stated that companies will need to pay a fee to Government for using the bandwidth since the time their permits were revoked last year, and the fee will be based on the starting price fixed for the November Auction.

For Telenor, the subscribers may not get affected in the 6 circles for which they acquired the permits in November auction.

Among other telecom operators, Idea cellular subscribers will not face any issue as it bought back bandwidth in all the 6 circle it operates in. Tata has already shut operations in 3 circles for which the licenses were revoked.

  1. KSGopal says

    Which are the 3 circls in which Tata shut down its services?

    1. sachin says

      Kashmir is one of them i Guess!

  2. Altaf says

    Unlike other companies, Systema is a Russian company. They are saying that they got allocation and thats it. They are saying that if Raja is wrong or not, they are not concerned. They played the game once and won. They dont want to surrender their trophy and play the game again.
    They are involving Russian govt into this to protect their investments. Lets see how they react now :)

    Just my two paisa :)

  3. Zaryab says

    Another round of lay-offs and unemployment. Does the Supreme Court see that repercussion on the salaried class? While the scamsters run loose, those laid off in the first round of shutdown are finding it difficult to make ends meet.

    1. Altaf says

      Unlike governments, SC is not a system which considers such factors. Judiciary is a separate entity. They only tell what is right what is wrong based on the existing frame work put in by bureaucrats. If any one is losing jobs, it is due to the inefficient rules put in by administration.

  4. Mihir Naik says

    So, If a person is a uninor or MTS subscriber then his cellphone will not work until MNP is properly executed ? It may take few days.. :/

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Atleast thats what it looks like.. Though I am not too sure if service providers will come to a sudden stop even with SC order. Finally they have to think about subscribers…

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