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    Default 2G: Etisalat advises subscribers to 'port out'

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    Following the Supreme Court's order cancelling 122 telecom licences , Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications company Etisalat on Friday advised its customers to shift to other telecom operators via mobile number portability (MNP) by March 31.

    The company, which operates under the brand name of Cheers Mobile, said in a statement: "Customers are encouraged to 'port out' their Cheers number to a network of their choice as soon as possible by following the process prescribed by India's telecommunications regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India)."

    The company on February 22 had announced its plans of shutting down the India network and launched legal proceedings against its Indian joint venture partners Swan Telecom and Dynamix Balwas (DB) Group for fraud and misrepresentation.

    The company had said that it was facing significant financial loss on its investment in Etisalat DB "despite having no involvement in the 2G license application or award process".

    Out of the 122 telecom licences, 15 were of Etisalat DB that have over 1.6 million subscribers. Following the apex court's order, Etisalat had also written off its investments worth $827 million in Etisalat DB.

    In 2008, Etisalat bought a 45 per cent stake in Swan Telecom for USD 900 million. At the time, Swan was promoted by the DB Group.



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