Telenor India unit to shut Mumbai operations after court order

NEW DELHI Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:19am IST

A man speaks on a mobile phone in front of a billboard of Uninor at a market in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

A man speaks on a mobile phone in front of a billboard of Uninor at a market in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad February 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Telenor's India unit said on Saturday it would close down its mobile phone services in Mumbai zone immediately after a court ordered that carriers whose permits were revoked and did not win fresh rights to airwaves must stop services.

Telenor's permits in 22 zones were among those ordered to be revoked by India's supreme court last year after a massive scandal over the grant of cellular licences in a 2008 sale.

Telenor won rights to airwaves in six of those zones in an auction in November and has said it might decide to bid for spectrum in Mumbai zone in an auction due in March.

"Unfortunately, we have no choice now but to follow the court's order and close down our network immediately," Sigve Brekke, managing director of Telenor's India operations, said in a statement.

The Telenor unit had 1.8 million customers in Mumbai as of December.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; editing by James Jukwey)

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