Mobile Service Black Out As Spat Between Reliance & Etisalat Continue

Around 1.7 Million Indians are suffering owing to the behavior of two Telecom Giants. Reliance Communication & Etisalat DB. Etilsalat’s customers are facing disruption of services since Friday owing to Reliance Communication disconnecting its services for the company. The Base Stations used by Etisalat are provided by Reliance under a US$ 2 billion, 10-year deal signed in 2009. However, citing long overdue payment for service, Reliance claims it was left with no other choice but to put a break on the tenant. Etisalat DB (EDB) is a joint venture between the United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat and India’s DB Group is not new to finding trouble.

With 1.67 Million subscribers, Etisalat is ranked No. 11 in the Mobile Operators List in India for GSM. But owing to this week long disruption, we wonder how long will people wait, till they simply opt for Mobile Number Portability & hop on to someone who pays his dues & offers better service?

We tried to analyze, what could have happened due to which Reliance was forced to pull the plug. Well, Etisalat DB and top executives of the DB Group are among several companies and more than dozen people charged by police over the alleged below-market-price sale of telecom permits (remember Swan Telecom?). While none agree to any wrongdoing, it is a point to ponder how a company ranked 11thcould not pay any dues. Oddly, Etisalat has said “events described in the charges pre-date its entry into India”. The other reason could be a spat or difference of opinion between the partners.

Meanwhile, Etisalat has issued a friendly advice to its Indian arm to settle the dispute at the earliest to prevent any more suffering of the customers. While subscribers to other service providers bicker about 3G & more premium services, people who use EDB’s connections are facing shortage of the most basic nature; Connectivity.

Are any of our readers been a victim of this fiasco? What have you done for the last whole week?


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