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Uninor to scale down operations in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Orissa

Bapun Raz

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Uninor, Norwegian teleco Telenor's India unit has said that it will scale down operations in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Orissa in the face of uncertainty around the 2G auction policy and timing.

The company however said that it will continue its operations in Mumbai, Maharashtra & Goa and seven other circles. "Since the Supreme Court order, we have pursued every possible measure to take our business forward in its current form. However, we are now forced to take this difficult but necessary decision," said Sigve Brekke, MD, Uninor. "Our plan now is to enter the auctions with a very strong presence in these nine circles, auction rules permitting."

The Supreme Court’s February 2 verdict cancelling 122 spectrum licences has badly impacted Uninor, a joint venture between Telenor and Indian real estate major Unitech.

Uninor said it will stop acquiring new customers in the four circles, which has 6.8 million subscribers, after which it will issue a public notice announcing a gradual scale down of network over a period of time. A company executive said that the network and commercial scale down is a fallout of the delayed decision-making over the rules of the 2G spectrum re-auction.

Uninor has a total of around 400 direct employees in these four circles and it will evaluate possibilities of relocating some of the employees to other Uninor circles. It will utilize the funds and equipment in the remaining nine circles.

"Since February 2, Telenor Group has continued to single-handedly provide financial backing to Uninor on the belief of an early resolution. However, with no sight of either auction rules or dates six months later, we support Uninor in taking this financially prudent decision. Telenor Group will continue to extend funding support to Uninor with its focus on nine commercial circles and urges the Indian government to provide clarity at the earliest", said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president and CEO, Telenor Group in a statement issued from Oslo, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president and CEO, Telenor Group, said.

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