Etisalat is to shut down its operation in India, after its joint venture there was stripped of its license in one of the country’s most serious corruption inquieries.
The UAE operator’s Etisalat DB venture has commenced the closure of its network, prior to its licence there being removed on June 2nd.
India’s Supreme Court revoked 122 third-generation licenses issued in January 2008 in an ongoing corruption case in which it is alleged the licenses were sold at below-market rates. Eight major operators, including Etisalat, were hit by the move.
Etisalat DB "will be taking steps to reduce operating costs, including the suspension of its network and services," the UAE operator said in an emailed statement.
"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 telecommunications sector," it added.
"Etisalat will make a decision on its future participation in the Indian market when there is clarity on the auction process and telecommunications policy and greater legal and regulatory certainty and stability."
The operator stressed that the license allocation that prompted the corruption allegations occurred prior to Etisalat’s entry to the India market.