Etisalat has decided to close down its Indian operation, Etisalat DB, to reduce costs. The move follows a decision by India’s Supreme Court earlier this month to suspend all 122 of the 2G licences that were awarded in 2008, which included Etisalat DB.
“The decision has been taken in order to protect the interests of all stakeholders and to avoid incurring further costs at this time of rapid change and continued uncertainty in the Indian telecommunication sector,” Etisalat said in a statement posted on the Abu Dhabi bourse website.
“Etisalat will make a decision on its future participation in the Indian market when there is clarity on the auction process, telecom policy and greater legal regulatory certainty and stability,” the statement added.
Etisalat also announced on Thursday that it had started legal proceedings against Balwa, Goenka, Majestic Infracon, its joint venture partners in India.
On February 9, Etisalat said that the decision by India’s Supreme Court to revoke all 122 of the 2G licences awarded in 2008 led to a total “impairment charge” of AED3.044 billion ($828.7m) before Federal Royalty.
Bahrain's Batelco Group said that it had sold its 42.7% stake in its Indian operation, STel, earlier in the month.