Tata Teleservices is being shuttered by its parent company Tata Sons, with regional unit chiefs told that operations will be closed by March 2018.
Executives at the parent firm have informed the Indian government of their intentions, and are negotiating the offloading of the operator’s spectrum with the Department of Telecommunications. While the operator will likely try to sell off spectrum obtained at auction in order to pay down its debts, it will also be required to return any spectrum allocated by the government via administration.
Tata Teleservices was established in 1996 as a fixed-line provider, and is among the smaller players in the Indian market. At the end of September 2017 it had 42 million mobile subscribers, giving it a market share of 3.5%. It has debts of around INR300 billion ($4.59 billion).
In 2008, Japan’s NTT Docomo injected INR140 billion of funding into the operator but pulled out in 2014 as the venture had consistently made losses. Tata Teleservices has been rejecting new subscriptions across several Indian regions for some time now.
Tata Sons failed in its attempts to find a buyer for Tata Teleservices, and reportedly will not be able to transfer the majority of TTSL’s 5000 employees to other Tata Group companies.