Loop Telecom Ltd has decided to shut its operations in all the telecom circles where it lost its licences following a Supreme Court verdict on February 2.
This will affect Loop’s around 6000 subscribers in 13 circles namely, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Kolkata, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, North East, Punjab, Orissa and Rajasthan.
The move will have no impact on Loop Mobile (India) Ltd, an associate that operates in Mumbai and has 3.2 million customers. It has yet to start its circles in eight circles.
With this Loop has become the third telco in the country after STel and Etisalat DB to shut its operations after the apex court on February 2 ruled that all the 122 spectrum licences allotted in 2008 during the tenure of the former telecom minister A Raja be cancelled.
Loop Telecom has asked its subscribers to make use of the mobile number portability to port their mobile number to other operator as the company plans stop its services, barring Mumbai circle, by next month.
“We plan to ensure everyone is ported out by June,” said a company official.
Loop is believed to be demanding the refund of money it paid for the licences as well as damages from the government.
According to a document reviewed by Mint, Loop is seeking nearly Rs 3,800 crore from the government, including money paid for the licences and damages.
“In the circumstances, we are hereby lodging our claim and request you to efund to us the sum of Rs1,454.94 crore paid by us on January 11, 2008, as a consideration for the grant of UASL for 21 circles, which licences now stand cancelled after the judgement of the honourable Supreme Court of India dated February 2, 2012, on the ground that the government of India’s policies and decisions were arbitrary and unconstitutional,” the letter signed by Sandip Basu, managing director and chief executive officer of Loop Telecom, said.
“Pay to us interest at SBI PLR (State Bank of India prime lending rate) plus 2% per annum on the amount of the Rs1,454.94 crore from January 11, 2008, until the date of refund (which as on 7 March 2012 stands at Rs724.17 crore),” the letter, addressed to department of telecommunications (DoT) secretary R. Chandrashekhar and dated 7 March, added.