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Etisalat DB asks 1.6 million customers to shift to other service providers Mobile phone company, Etisalat DB has told its 1.6 million customers to shift to other service providers before the month-end as the telco plans to wind down operations across the country within the next three weeks.
 
Last month, UAE based telecoms operator Etisalat had announced that it was shutting down its operations in India.
 
Etisalat DB, a joint-venture Etisalat and India's DB Group, is the second mobile phone company after S Tel to ask its customers to move to other operators - both telcos have asked their subscribers to use mobile number portability or MNP service, the facility that allows users to switch operators but retain their mobile numbers.
 
More than 5 million customers of STel and Etisalat DB combined will port to other operators in the coming weeks and months.
 
The Dubai-headquartered telco had decided to stop operations after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 licences issued in 2008, including all 15 mobile permits held by the Gulf carrier's local arm. Etisalat had paid $900 million in 2008 for a 45% stake in Swan Telecom, later renamed Etisalat DB.
 
"Cheers Mobile, the brand of Etisalat DB in India, has advised its customers to transfer their mobile number to another operator prior to the scheduled suspension of Cheers Mobile services on 31/03/2012," the telco said in a statement on Friday.
 
Etisalat had also initiated legal proceedings against its Indian joint venture partner for fraud and misrepresentation. After the apex court's decision, Etisalat took a $829-million hit on its Indian venture's earning.
 
ET also learnt that Etisalat DB was facing claims to the tune of Rs 3700 crore from banks and infrastructure companies and is also learnt to have cancelled its $400 IT outsourcing contract with Tech Mahindra.
 
The telco has also been dragged to the telecoms tribunal by Reliance Infratel, the tower providing arm of large incumbent telco Reliance Communications, for recovering Rs 1,200 crore. Etisalat DB had entered into a 10-year tower sharing deal with Reliance Infratel, that had disconnected Etisalat's services last month after the telco failed to clear its dues.
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