The government has cashed in Loop Mobile’s bank guarantees, totalling INR500 million (USD8.32 million), after the ailing cellco failed to pay dues, the Economic Times cites communications ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad as saying. Mr Prasad made the statement in response to queries in parliament (Lok Sabha) on whether some operators had defaulted on their payment obligations. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Bharti Airtel announced in February 2014 that it had agreed to acquire the Mumbai-based cellco, which was facing closure after the cancellation of 21 licences owned by sister company Loop Telecom in February 2012. The acquisition is yet to be completed, however, and has been complicated by the intervention of Chinese vendor ZTE and rival operator Vodafone – both of which claimed to be owed money from the cellco.
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