Vodafone users cannot make or receive calls from users from this network

Aircel’s woes have deepened after Vodafone India became the second carrier after Idea Cellular to stop most interconnect services across all circles to the beleaguered telco, including messaging, STD and international calling facility, due to non-payment of outstanding dues.

Sector insiders said that given the situation of the Chennai-headquartered telecom company, which is expected to file for bankruptcy soon, disruption of interconnect for local calls would follow soon, if the dues remain unpaid. Aircel is also believed to be looking at the option of selling its assets, such as subscribers and infrastructure, with Bharti the frontrunner, say people familiar with the discussions. “Vodafone has stopped ILD, ILD and messaging services to Aircel over the last couple of days, across all circles,” aperson directly aware of the development said. Vodafone India, the second largest carrier in India, and Aircel, did not reply to queries seeking comment. Disconnection of interconnect for calls may well follow, the person said, but did not give a timeline to the effect.
“It’s a matter of time before others also disconnect, since the company has no money to pay,” said a senior industry official, asking not to be named. Idea Cellular had suspended interconnect services – used for connecting calls between operators – earlier this month. Aircel owed around Rs 60 crore for three months to Idea Cellular.

The options for the Malaysian Maxisowned company – under a debt of some Rs 15,500 -crore and facing a severe cash crunch as its promoters have stopped funding – are limited in India. While it considers filing for bankruptcy at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), sources say the company may also be looking to sell its assets including over 80 million customers and infrastructure, with Bharti Airtel being frontrunner to take them.

This, considering that the No 1 carrier had bought Aircel’s 4G spectrum for Rs 3,500 crore in 2016 and needs subscribers to boost its markshare amid competitive pressure from Jio and the Vodafone-Idea Cellular merger. Another person though said that Reliance Jio may also be interested.

Buying Aircel’s 2G and 3G spectrum though is trickier given the Supreme Court order, which has banned the sale or trade of those assets, a decision which led to the scrapping company’s merger deal with Reliance Communications, and pushed it to the throes of bankruptcy.

Filed in: News

Recent Posts

Bookmark and Promote!

© 6431 ItVoice | Online IT Magazine India. All rights reserved.
Powered by IT Voice