Some customers are seen helped by recharge service providers to migrate to another network of their choice

Telecom service provider Uninor, a subsidiary of Telenor, has closed down its network in Mumbai since Saturday. This follows a Supreme Court order that mandated all operators that did not win spectrum in the previous auctions to close down services immediately.

Uninor said no temporary licence was available to enable customers to port out easily. However, operations in six circles of Maharashtra and Goa, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West, Bihar and Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh are continuing as fresh spectrum for 20 years has been secured.

Uninor said it would sign roaming agreements with other operators to ensure that all Uninor customers got seamless connectivity when travelling to Mumbai.

While most of Uninor’s customers were taken by surprise, some were helped by recharge service providers to migrate to another network of their choice by submitting fresh applications and proof of residence. As per existing rules, number portability is allowed. Uninor said, in this case, it could not get an opportunity to inform customers well in advance to port out. Uninor said it was extending assistance to its employees in Mumbai to finding new employment. Some could be absorbed in other circles. Uninor did not reveal the number of employees affected by the sudden closure.

Transparent settlement

The company said it would ensure a transparent and comprehensive settlement towards all its distributors and retailers. The company would also engage with its business partners to evaluate the possibility of redeploying network infrastructure to other circles such as Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat , it said.

“We have pursued every alternative possible to continue our operations in Mumbai until the new auction takes place. Now the Court has ordered an immediate closure of operations and no temporary licence too is available to allow a gradual process. Unfortunately, we have no choice now but to follow the Court’s order and close down our network immediately,” said Sigve Brekke, Managing Director of Uninor, in a statement.

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