Loop Mobile

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Loop Mobile
Private
Industry Telecommunication
Fate Ceased operations after expiration of licence
Founded 1994 (1994)
Defunct 29 November 2014 (2014-11-29)
Headquarters Mahim, Mumbai, India
Services Mobile network operator
Website www.loopmobile.in

Loop Mobile, usually referred to as LOOP and formerly known as BPL Mobile, was an Indian mobile network operator. On 18 February 2014, Bharti Airtel announced that it had agreed to acquire Loop Mobile for 700 crore (US$100 million).

History[edit]

BPL Mobile Communications, established in 1994, was India's first mobile network operator.[1] It began commercial operations in 1995.[2] The Khaitan Holdings Group purchased a 99% stake in the company at a cost of 700 crore (equivalent to 17 billion or US$250 million in 2016) in 2005.[3] BPL Mobile was renamed to Loop Mobile in March 2009.[2] Having consistently met and exceeded TRAI benchmarks, Loop Mobile was ISO 9001:2008 certified in 2009, in accordance with the TUV NORD CERT auditing and certification procedures.[4]

On 18 February 2014, Bharti Airtel announced that it was acquiring Loop Mobile for 700 crore (US$100 million), prior to that, a Chennai-based Information Technology Company, Zeesta IT Services MD Hemanth Raj, evaluated to acquire, however the deal did not materialize .[5] The two companies had been in talks since mid-2013.[6] Loop Mobile's 20 year licence in the 900 MHz band was due to expire in the last quarter of 2014, and the company did not participate in the 2014 spectrum auction.[7] However, on 5 November 2014, Bharti announced that it was dropping plans to acquire Loop Mobile, after the former failed to gain regulatory approval from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the acquisition.[8][9]

The acquisition would have increased Airtel's total customer base in Mumbai to more than 7 million customers[5] and increased the size of their network to 6,500 cell sites.[3] Airtel also would have acquired electronic equipment, optic fibre and the 8 megahertz of spectrum in the 900 MHz band held by Loop in Mumbai.[10] However, Airtel had no plans to acquire Loop Mobile's 550 employees.[11]

The announcement of the acquisition had prompted most Loop Mobile subscribers to switch mobile operators, and the operator had approximately 1 million customers by the first week of November 2014, down from 3 million subscribers when the deal was first announced in February 2014. Loop Mobile's licence to operate mobile services in Mumbai expired on 29 November 2014, bringing an end to its operations.[8][9]

As on 8 June 2015 status from Indian Court
Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Vikash Saraf are facing trial in the case along with three companies—Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd (ETHL). [12]

Controversy[edit]

Main article: 2G spectrum scam

Loop Telecom was probed by CBI for alleged violation of foreign exchange laws to the tune of about 384 crores in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.[13][14]

On 18 August 2011, Loop mobile along with Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications and Vodafone was issued notices by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for violation of Mobile number portability (MNP) Regulations. According to TRAI, they had received complains from customers regarding wrong rejection of porting requests by telecom operators and also 10 been charged for a message for requesting porting code through number 1900.[15] In April 2012 Loop Mobile announced its intention to shut down operations across India except Mumbai with effect from 15 May 2012.[16] The move is expected to impact 6,100 customers, however, the figure is much less than 0.01% of the number of mobile phone users in India.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ LOOP TELECOM LAUNCHES GSM SERVICE IN TAMILNADU AND ORISSA, telecomtalk.info, 11 May 2009, retrieved 8 August 2011 
  2. ^ a b BPL Mobile was renamed to Loop Mobile, business-standard.com, 18 March 2009, retrieved 8 August 2011 
  3. ^ a b Shishir Asthana (18 February 2014). "Loop acquisition is a win-win deal for Airtel". Business Standard. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  4. ^ LOOP TELECOM is now ISO certified, telecomtalk.info, 18 August 2009, retrieved 8 August 2011 
  5. ^ a b "India's Bharti agrees to buy smaller telecoms carrier Loop's operations". Reuters. 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  6. ^ "Bharti Airtel emerges as frontrunner to acquire Loop Mobile". The Times of India. 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  7. ^ "Bharti set to take over Loop in Rs 700-crore deal". Timesofindia. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  8. ^ a b http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/bharti-calls-off-rs-700-cr-deal-to-buy-loop-mobile-114110600045_1.html
  9. ^ a b http://www.livemint.com/Companies/RDMdCDjHO2wluCzuYWT2bN/Bharti-Airtel-pulls-out-of-deal-says-Loop-Mobile.html
  10. ^ "Bharti To Buy Loop Mobile In Rs 700-cr Deal: Reports". Businessworld.in. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  11. ^ Rajesh Kurup (18 February 2014). "Uncertainty looms over Loop Mobile employees". Business Line. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  12. ^ http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/2g-scam-case-court-pulls-up-essar-groups-anshuman-ruia-denies-permission-to-go-abroad/articleshow/47585201.cms
  13. ^ "Loop fined Rs 384 crore". Indian Express. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Loop Telecom, Loop Mobile on ED radar in 2G scam". Business Today. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "TRAI issues notices to operators for violating norms". NDTV. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "India's Loop Telecom latest casualty of 2G scam". Reuters. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  17. ^ ET Bureau (10 April 2012). "Loop telecom to shut operations outside Mumbai". The Economic Times. Mumbai. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 

External links[edit]