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MTS India Plans LTE Services On CDMA Spectrum; 9.7M Active Data Subs

After reporting increased losses of Rs 778.7 crore for the quarter ending December 31, 2012, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) which operates in India as MTS India, has informed in its investor presentation (pdf) that it hopes to break even in India by the end of 2014 or the first half of 2015. Remember that the company was impacted by the cancellation of many of its licenses, following a Supreme Court ruling which cancelled 122 licenses in all, including 21 of SSTL’s 22 licenses. This led to SSTL eventually shutting down operations in 13 circles. Some notes from the Investor presentation (download it here): - New India Strategy: The company informed that its new strategy involves optimizing its existing business and expand its data services in the country, which includes launching LTE services on CDMA spectrum. However, the company hasn't revealed any specific timeline for this rollout. Sistema currently operates in nine telecom circles in India, which includes the eight circles where it secured spectrum in the March 2013 auctions and Rajasthan circle which was not affected by the Supreme Court ruling. Through these nine circles, the company hopes to reach out to 60% of the total data potential in the country and 40% of the country’s population. - LTE Services on 850MHz Spectrum: SSTL plans to deploy LTE services on 850 MHz spectrum band in India and claims that this spectrum band will allow them to migrate to LTE and offer better experience than the existing 3G services. The company cites examples of similar LTE rollouts by LG Uplus and SK Telecom in South Korea.…

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