SSTL ditches three circles in CDMA auction

12 Mar 2013

Following yesterday’s auction of CDMA spectrum, Russian-backed cellco Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL) has confirmed that it will be closing down operations in the Mumbai, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (East) circles. In the auction, in which SSTL was the only bidder, the cellco purchased three blocks of 1.25MHz spectrum in the 800MHz range in eight operating areas: Delhi, Calcutta, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal. The provider noted that in its decision, it took into consideration spectrum pricing, the level of competition, future potential for data services and the number of carrier slots available.

Whilst the auction mimicked the previous tender in November, garnering little interest from investors and falling short of expectations in terms of government revenues, telecoms secretary R Chandrashekhar described the sale as a success as it has ‘establish[ed] the market value of CDMA spectrum.’ The government sold just 40% of the spectrum on offer, although in terms of value, 56% was sold.