Telecom operator Sistema Shyam Teleservices on Wednesday reported widening of net loss to Rs. 760 crore for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013 mainly on account of forex loss and business restructuring.

The company had posted a net loss of Rs. 495.5 crore for the same period a year ago.

“The Net Income declined mainly on account of forex losses and business restructuring,” SSTL’s Chief Executive Officer Dmitry Shukov said.

The revenues of SSTL, which operates under MTS brand, also declined by about 30 per cent to Rs. 284.4 crore during the reported quarter as compared to Rs. 404 crore in the same period a year ago.

“Revenue in Q3 2013 decreased by 30 per cent year-on-year to Rs. 2,844 million which was largely driven by closure of circles,” Mr. Shukov said.

The company’s immediate expansion plans are also uncertain as telecom regulator TRAI has locked horns with Department of Telecom, not being inclined to suggest auction start price for CDMA spectrum within a definite timeframe.

SSTL has demanded putting CDMA airwaves for auction at reduced price linked to 2G spectrum rates for which TRAI has recommended about 37 per cent lower base price.

“On the regulatory front, though 100 per cent FDI in telecom is a welcome move, we expect the government to provide a clear roadmap for the auction of 800 Mhz spectrum. This is a must for proliferation of data services and also for restoring investor confidence,” Mr. Shukov said.

The company has a target to turn Operating Income before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA) positive by end of 2014.

OIBDA loss of the company during the quarter narrowed to Rs. 219.7 crore from Rs. 354.1 crore it posted same period a year ago.

During the quarter, SSTL made investments of Rs. 40.4 crore. Debt from banks and financial institutions at the end of September stood at Rs. 3,897 crore.

“In Q3 2013, operating parameters like ARPU (average revenue per user), Minutes of Usage (MoU) continued to improve. Going forward, with the launch of our 3G Plus network, we expect the Company to come back to its high growth path,” SSTL Chief Financial Officer Sergey Savchenko said.

During the quarter, the company rolled out its high speed 3G Plus Telecom Network across all its circles of operations and launched MBlaze Ultra dongle with speeds of upto 9.8 megabit per second with which a user can theoretically download a full Bollywood movie in about 8 minutes.

SSTL reported increase in data card subscriber base by 4.5 per cent to 12.1 lakh during the period.

The overall mobile subscriber base of the company, however, declined by 1.8 per cent quarter—on—quarter and reached 96 lakh customers.

The MoU of its network for Q3 2013 improved to 363 minutes as compared to 328 minutes in previous quarter.

Non-voice revenues of SSTL, from both data and mobile value added services for the quarter, declined by 2.2 per cent to Rs. 97.9 crore.

SSTL operates in Delhi, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West), Kerala and West Bengal.

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