Aircel Says Not Shutting Down Operations in 14 Circles; Refutes Media Reports

Ailing GSM telecom service provider on Friday clarified that it is not shutting down operations in 14 circles as claimed by certain media reports. The telco further added that it is now making efforts to build a profitable business in the country. In a statement, Aircel said, “Media reports about Aircel as regard insolvency or shutting down operations in 14 circles is completely speculative & misleading.”

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Aircel has earlier delayed payment of interest on its debt repayment obligations on account of its weak liquidity position, following which rating agency CARE downgraded the telco to default (D) grade. The telco has long-term bank loans of Rs. 174.79 billion or $2.7 billion, the agency said.

Aircel, majority owned by Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Bhd, is talking to its lenders for a strategic debt restructuring (SDR), various reports claimed previously.

Aircel is currently the sixth-ranked mobile carrier in the country by subscribers. Its subscriber base showed a year-on-year growth of 6% and had around 89 million users at September end. The telecom operator’s loss in 2016 calendar year doubled to Rs. 4,319 crore, as compared to a loss of Rs. 2,215 crore in previous year.

Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Bhd owns 74% stake in Aircel, which had gotten into an agreement with Reliance Communications (RCom) to combine operations, but the deal fell apart last month due to various hurdles.

CARE Ratings had then said that severe competition in the sector post Reliance Jio Infocomm’s entry led to drop in Aircel’s average revenue per user (ARPU) and its operating margins have been on a downward trend, leading to deterioration in its financial risk profile.

The agency had further added that its next set of ratings on Aircel would depend on the telco’s ability to service its debt obligations in a timely manner, finalisation of its new business plan after discussions with the lenders and any change in regulations affecting the business and the telecom industry shall be the key rating sensitivities.

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36 Comments on "Aircel Says Not Shutting Down Operations in 14 Circles; Refutes Media Reports"

 

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Aslam (Rajasthan
November 25, 2017 10:27 pm 10:27 PM

Yesterday received Aircel message that they ICR with BSNL in Rajasthan for better coverage
Because 1 Aircel have didn’t coverage in many district if rajasthan
2 Tata Docomo and Rcom shutting their own Network whose They ICR in Rajasthan

Chetan
November 26, 2017 5:07 pm 5:07 PM
Actually Aircel has derived its position in this market where all operators are either merging or eaten away by larger players. Since Jio and Avoid group will focus on 4G Tariff plans, Aircel will have 2g 3G focus plans. There will be considerable customer moving forward who will be plain 2G voice users and would opt for Aircel in select low ARPU circles. Aircel will slowly wind off operations in very low ARPU regions and continue in its leadership circles with 2G low ARPU users till they find buyer. Debt will continue with minimum service obligation. Lifeline of Aircel is… Read more »
Kaushik
November 26, 2017 12:48 am 12:48 AM

It will be good if they can extend this pan India.

gagan
November 25, 2017 9:35 pm 9:35 PM

Still Aircel is best for its calling tariif plans

Kirti Khurana
November 25, 2017 7:18 pm 7:18 PM

If I’m not wrong Aircel was the first company to introduce unlimited data packs POCKET INTERNET 14 , 28 & 98
I’ve used them in 8-9 years ago on Sony Ericsson Walkman w350 & Nokia’s music Xpress 🙂
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Many of our youngsters were only on Vodafone or Aircel only switched out when they both started loosing to airtel in network coverage & quality.

Jio lover
November 25, 2017 9:32 pm 9:32 PM

Correct

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