Russian-backed CDMA-operator Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), which operates under the MTS India brand, has won spectrum in eight circles for a total of INR36.39 billion (USD667.54 million) reports Reuters. SSTL was the only bidder in the auction and entered bids for three blocks of CDMA frequencies, each consisting of 1.25MHz of spectrum, in each of the eight circles. SSTL appears to be mirroring a similar strategy as its GSM rivals, reportedly omitting Mumbai from its bidding, though the cellco has submitted a bid for spectrum in Delhi. In the first round of 2G auctions in November 2012, spectrum in the metro circles received no bids, as providers were put off by high reserve prices. As previously noted by CommsUpdate, SSTL announced plans last month to shut down operations in ten circles – Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Orissa and Punjab – which represented less than 15% of the cellco’s subscriber base. SSTL’s bidding suggests it plans to trim its operations even more, closing down in a further three circles.
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