Uninor examining legal options, rules out quitting India

Bhubaneswar, Feb 16: Mobile service provider Uninor, hit by the Supreme Court verdict cancelling 122 telecom licences, today said it was examining legal options and moving a review petition in the apex court, while ruling out winding up operations in India.

"The company is looking at legal options and lawyers are examining the idea of filing a review petition in the Supreme Court," said Sigve Brekke, Managing Director of Unitech Wireless, which owns the Uninor brand.

However, no decision has yet been taken on any such move, Brekke said in a press briefing via video conference. Ruling out any move to wind up operations in India, he said, "We did not come to India to give up, but to win. And, that's what we are going to do.

Looking at the way our employees, our trade partners and our customers have responded over the past few days, I am confident we will succeed." Unitech Wireless Ltd is a joint venture between Norway- based Telenor Group and India's Unitech Ltd.

The apex court had recently cancelled licences of all new GSM service providers, including Unitech Wireless, awarded in 2008. Brekke expressed the hope that sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) would consider Uninor's views before finalising guidelines for the 2G spectrum auction.

He said the company has already conveyed its views to TRAI and the government that the auction should be held in two stages with the first one limited to new players alone. "We hope the regulator will follow the spirit of increased competition will look at finding a fair way," he said.

While Uninor awaits the new mechanism by which new licenses would be awarded, the company has responded to the license ruling by adding three lakh customers in one weekend, Brekke said.

"This is the highest weekend subscriber addition ever for Uninor." Noting that recent developments had energised Uninor like never before, he said over the past few days thousands of employees stormed the market, registering their presence and assuring retailers and customers that Uninor services were continuing.


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