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TDSAT notice to Etisalat on RComm's Rs.1,200 crore dues

Thursday February 23, 2012 06:30:42 PM, IANS

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Etisalat writes off $827 mn, evaluates India options

Abu Dhabi-based telecom firm Etisalat Thursday wrote off its investments worth $827 million in the mobile company Etisalat DB and said the company is evaluating its strategic options in India. Etisalat is the second foreign firm to do so after the Norwegian  

New Delhi: The telecom disputes tribunal Thursday served notice to Etisalat DB asking it to reply in two weeks to a Reliance Infratel plea seeking to recover Rs.1,200 crore from the Abu Dhabi-based firm for using its telecom infrastructure on lease.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) bench headed by Justice S.B. Sinha said the next hearing on the case will take place March 5.

Reliance Infratel (RITL) is a subsidiary of Reliance Communications. The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) group firm had approached TDSAT Wednesday.

Counsel for Reliance said the firm was apprehensive about Etisalat's business after the Abu Dhabi-based company announced shutting down its services in India following the Supreme Court order cancelling 122 spectrum licences, including 15 of the company.

In 2009, Etisalat DB had entered into 10-year pact with RITL for leasing infrastructure to provide GSM services after getting 2G spectrum.

RITL had disconnected Etisalat in January following non-payment of dues.

Etisalat DB is a joint venture between Etisalat of United Arab Emirates and Dynamix Balwas Group of India.

The operator, which has over 1.6 million subscribers across the country, has said the official cessation date will shortly be communicated to its customers.

Earlier this month, Etisalat had written off its investments worth $827 million in Etisalat DB.

Etisalat DB has said it would reconsider entering the Indian market when there is clarity on the auction process and the regulatory environment governing the sector.









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