All things not good for Aircel right now. Customers all across Tamil Nadu have actually expressed their concern regarding the fact that they are not being able to port out of the telecom service provider in the recent past. Connectivity has been a major issue and also the calls are getting dropped randomly.
With this customers have complained that every time they send an SMS 1900, they received the same reply stating, “Dear customer, Please send the request in the below format. Port <10 digits mobile number>.” But despite sending the SMS in the said format, there has been no response.
In fact, Dinesh Kumar, a techie added that “After I read that the company will file for bankruptcy at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), I sent an SMS to the service provider to port out and still have not got the authorization code. Today, all services, including gas, bank accounts, and Aadhaar, are linked to mobile. So this needs to be fixed, or else several customers will suffer”.
So, from the above description, it becomes clear that the problem right now is that Aircel is calling for Bankruptcy. To look back, this Maxis-owned telco’s operations have been severely hurt by intense competition in a sector that has been a drag on the revenue and profitability of even the top operators.
To this, Chief executive officer Kaizad Heerjee regarded that, “As competition remains intense in a hugely financial stressed market, we too are being impacted… The company expects things to get even more difficult in coming days. Right now, the telco is in talks with all stakeholders, even listing lenders, for further implementation of plans.
Aircel is considering filing for bankruptcy in the National Company Law Tribunal, and this likely marks the demise of the last small mobile phone company, leaving only four non-state telcos, which would soon become three after a merger.
Statistics state that Aircel had a quarterly operating profit of ₹120 crore in July 2016, before Reliance Jio Infocomm started its services. This dropped to a mere ₹5 crore by July 2017 and slipped to an operating loss of ₹120 crore in December.
On the other hand, Aircel’s revenue was ₹512 crore in the December quarter. The company had projected annual revenue of ₹5,741 crore to lenders in November, or roughly ₹1,435 crore a quarter. For improving the situation, the annual projection had factored an intra-circle roaming agreement for 4G services with another operator, which again didn’t materialize.
People close to the matter also regarded that Aircel’s situation worsened after tower vendors switched off some of its base stations for non-payment of dues.
Here, Heerjee also added that “Our financial situation has resulted in network and system outages. Millions of customers have been impacted.”
In fact, Aircel’s parent company Maxis, run by Malaysia-based billionaire T Ananda Krishnan, had earlier proposed a cash infusion to support debt-laden Aircel, but now has pulled back the plug.
However, even after such a breakdown, Aircel has thought of a measure of survival. The company decided to continue with its operations and concentrate on only those circles where it is strong and which have scope for growth as a niche player. So from January 31, the company would shut operations in six circles and concentrate on the remaining sixteen. It has also decided to share spectrum with 4G operators and offer the service.