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Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited (SSTL), doing business as Mobile TeleSystems India (MTS India), was the Indian subsidiary of the Russian mobile operator MTS. The company was headquartered in New Delhi, India. MTS India provided wireless voice, broadband Internet, messaging and data services in India. As on 31 July 2017, MTS India was the ninth-largest mobile operator in India with 3.92 million subscribers.

Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited
MTS India
Industry Telecommunications
Fate Acquired by Reliance Communications
Founded December 2008 (2008-12)
Defunct 31 October 2017 (2017-10-31)
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Key people
Sergey Savchenko (CEO)
Owners Sistema (56.68%)
Shyam Group (23.98%)
Government of Russia (17.14%)

The company was acquired by Reliance Communications (RCom) on 14 January 2016 in an all stock deal, in which SSTL received a 10% share in RCom. SSTL was merged into RCom on 31 October 2017.



Sistema, the largest public diversified corporation in Russia, acquired a 10% stake in Shyam Telelink for a total cash consideration of US$ 11.4 million at the end of September 2007. Shantanu Telecom along with their partner Sistema had applied for UASL licence in 22 telecom circles of India. In August 2008, they got a pan-India start-up spectrum to start their mobile service operations in the country. They provide mobile services based on CDMA technology under the brand name MTS India and gave contracts to ZTE and Huawei for network expansion. MTS launched operations in Uttar Pradesh East and West in October 2010.[2]

On 2 February 2012, the Supreme Court of India cancelled 122 licences of 22 mobile operators, including 21 of MTS' 22 licences, in connection with the 2G spectrum scam. MTS lost all its licences except the one for Rajasthan circle.[3] MTS had approximately 2.32 million subscribers in those 10 circles at the time of the announcement, and 14.88 million subscribers nationally.[4] According to MTS officials, the 10 circles where MTS ceased operations constituted 15.62% of its total subscriber base and less than 15% of the company's overall revenue.[5] In the 2013 spectrum auction, MTS won back licences and spectrum in 8 circles - Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.[6][7]

Acquisition by Reliance CommunicationsEdit

On 14 January 2016, Reliance Communications (RCom) announced that it had acquired SSTL in an all stock deal, in which SSTL received a 10% share in RCom, after paying off its existing debt. RCom would assume the liability for installments that SSTL had to pay the government from purchasing spectrum. The liability amounted 392 crore annually for 10 years. As a result of the deal, Reliance acquired nearly 9 million subscribers, as well as SSTL's spectrum in the 850 MHz band.[8] The merger deal was approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in February 2016.[9] SEBI cleared the deal by March, and SSTL shareholders approved the deal on 18 March.[10] By mid-August, the deal was approved by tax authorities and the shareholders and creditors of RCom and SSTL.[11] The merger was approved by the Rajasthan High Court on 30 September 2016,[12] and the Mumbai High Court on 7 October 2016.[13]

The final approval, from the Department of Telecommunications, was given on 20 October 2017.[14][15] On 31 October 2017, RCom announced that it completed the merger.[16][17]


MTS launched EVDO Rev A based high-speed mobile broadband service, MBlaze,[18] in November 2009 and acquired with over 5 lakh customers in a short span of time as of February 2011. In April 2010, MTS launched MTS TV for MTS MBlaze customers. MTS MBlaze had coverage in 100+ cities as of February 2011. MTS had announced pan-India roaming for its users in April–May 2010.[19] MTS also provided MBrowse which is CDMA-1x technology based internet service.[20] On 5 September, MTS India announced the commercial availability of its EVDO Rev B Phase 2 network. On 23 October 2013 SSTL had announced its roll out plan of its 3GPLUS network in nine circles namely Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.[21]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "MTS mobile services in Uttar Pradesh by early-November". Mint. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Vikas SN (22 February 2013). "MTS India To Close Down Operations In 10 Circles; 15.6% Subscribers Impacted". MediaNama. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "MTS to shut down operations in 10 circles". Times of India. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Sistema to shut operations in 10 circles ahead of spectrum auction". Livemint. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Sistema bags spectrum in eight circles for 3,639 crore". The Hindu. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "Sistema gives 3 circles a miss in CDMA auction". Business Standard. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "Reliance Communications acquires Sistema's MTS India in all-stock deal". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  9. ^ "Reliance Communications Gets CCI Approval to Acquire MTS". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  10. ^ "Sistema Shyam shareholders approve merger with Reliance Communications". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  11. ^ "DoT's approval for SSTL-RCOM merger likely in Q4: Sistema - The Economic Times". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  12. ^ India, Press Trust of (30 September 2016). "RCom gets Rajasthan HC approval for Sistema acquisition". Business Standard. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "Reliance Communication gets Bombay HC approval for Sistema acquisition - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  14. ^ "Telecom department approves RCom-MTS merger - ET Telecom". Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  15. ^ "RCom-Sistema Shyam merger gets DoT approval". The Economic Times. 2017-10-23. Retrieved 2017-10-24. 
  16. ^ "Reliance Communications Completes Merger With MTS". NDTV. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  17. ^ "Reliance Communications completes merger with MTS". Zee News. 31 October 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  18. ^ "Adding intelligence to businesses". Business Standard. 
  19. ^ "MTS announces results". Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  20. ^ "MTS business details". Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "MTS launches Mblaze Ultra with 9.8Mbps download speed; rolls out 3GPLUS network in 9 circles". Retrieved 31 October 2015. 

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