State-run telecom service provider Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Limited (MTNL) which currently operates mobile, broadband and fixed line services in Delhi and Mumbai, has clarified that it does not intend to shut down mobile services on its CDMA network, as reported by the media. In a stock exchange filing with the BSE, MTNL has said:
” With reference to the news item appearing in a leading financial daily titled “MTNL struggles in CDMA business” Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd has clarified to BSE that as of now there is no plan to close down the CDMA business operations. As and when any such proposal is put up to the Board the same will be informed to the stock exchanges pursuant to the provisions of the Listing Agreement.”
Speaking with Business Standard, MTNL Chairman and Managing Director AK Garg has however said that the CDMA business is not currently a focus area for MTNL since it clashes with its GSM operations. He also said that the operator intends to partner with other telecom operators to share their network infrastructure and will take an appropriate decision in the next two months.
The filing was in response to a report that appeared in Business Standard, according to which, the telco was appointing a consultant to examine whether it should upgrade its CDMA network or close it down completely after shifting users to its GSM network. The report had quoted a senior MTNL official without identifying him.
Till January 2012, MTNL had 5.49 million GSM subscribers. In November 2011, the operator had announced a total revenue of Rs 896.4 crore and an all-time high losses of Rs 864 crore, for the quarter ending September 30, 2011. A month later, it had appointed AK Garg as Chairman & Managing Director of MTNL from his previous BSNL role and attributed all its losses to the absence of a full time CMD for two years, due to which MTNL was not able to take any major decisions. MTNL currently has an CDMA user base of 150, 000 with 100,000 in Delhi and 50,000 in Mumbai.
With Inputs From Anupam Saxena