Beleaguered telecom operator Aircel is in talks with lenders and shareholders to find a way out of its current crisis with cash for operations set to run out by March.

The options being explored include a potential merger with Airtel or launching 4G operations through spectrum-sharing partnerships. The operator will look to shut down operations only if all efforts to keep operations going fail.

Sources close to the developments say the management has been told to keep the network running till a course of action is decided. “A decision will have to be taken within a month or two. Until then, the operator will continue to run the network in all circles. There is no plan to shut down as of now,” one source said.

Aircel, in which Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Bhd owns a 74 percent stake, is weighing various options, including venturing into 4G services through partnerships. But this would require fresh investments by existing promoters.

“The question is whether the promoters should hang on for a couple of more years and hope to get better returns as the telecom market is expected to come out of the current crisis by then. If the promoters sell out now perhaps they may not get much valuation,” said a source close to the lenders. – The Hindu Business Line


 

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