Aircel Shuts Down Network in many Circles; Warns Employees of Difficult Times Ahead


Things at Aircel are completely going in a very wrong way. Most of us already know that from last week onwards Aircel users are facing severe issues. Starting from call drops to no signal at all – there are reports of issues from all over the country. And with all these still not resolved, we all know the company is in a bad condition. However, they never admitted that.

The Problem

Earlier this week, Kaizad Heerji, the chief executive officer at Aircel, send out an e-mail to 5000 employees saying that in future the things are expected to become even worse. In the past six months, no funding has been received by the telecom operator. Which means the company is currently running on its own. However, it should be made clear that after Reliance Jio launch, the telecom market in India has become very much competetive. For Aircel, sustaining the company on their own is not possible due to lack of revenue for this immense competition.


What the Aircel CEO Says?

In an email to the Aircel employees, Aircel’s chief executive officer, Kaizad Heerji has written,

We have had no funding for some time and have been dependent on cash generation from our current business operations

As per Economic Times, he further added…

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

Mr. Kaizad also confirmed that the company will be replacing the resigned board with new faces – Sandeep Vats, Prakash Mishra, and Lakshami Subramaniam. The report also confirms that the board will soon review and evaluate the options available for the company.

No Network even in Metro Cities

From past 5 days, several users in select network circles are facing no signal issues. Other than Karnataka and West Bengal circle major cities including Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangaluru is effected. Moreover, the telecom operator is not even allowing their users to manually get into another network to at least generate the porting code. So, porting to other network is not possible currently. On asking about the huge issue Mr. Kaizad said,

Our financial situation has resulted in network and system outages. Millions of customers have been impacted

However, the Aircel team is not really admitting their fault openly. While there are hundreds and hundreds of tweets about no network, Aircel twitter team has responded it is only a ‘technical issue’. We think the company should be more clear to their customers rather than saying this as a technical problem.

Idea Cellular has also publicly announced that they have blocked all calls from Aircel to Idea network. This harsh step comes due to not paying the interconnect usage charges. This means, even if you luckily have signal on your Aircel number you will not be able to call any Idea number.

The Problem Becomes Worse

As the problem turns even worse than expected, the private telecom operator is said to file bankruptcy at the NTCL Mumbai bench. Since September 2017, Aircel has not paid anything to bank and “banks can no longer restructure Aircel without provisioning for its debt” reported ET.

Even though Aircel has claimed to continue providing services but that looks like a dream now. The number of users is also dropping massively each and every month. Just in the month of December 2017, they have lost close to 2.5 million users. In just a few months Aircel’s user base has come down to 84 million from 90 million. Furthermore, a senior officer reported that Aircel is likely to stop paying salaries of their employees. Thanks to Aircel’s massive ₹15,500 crore of debt the company might have to soon close telecom operations. With situations being worse every day the Indian telecom market could soon stay with just four private operators – Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and Jio.

What do we suggest?

As mentioned earlier, as of December 31st, 2017, Aircel has more than 84 million subscribers all over India. However, we suspect the numbers will continue to drop very quickly in the coming months due to the issue. Even one of our team member, Sarajit Das is also facing the same problem. There’s no network on his phone number like many others. We suspect the problem may get worse as Malaysian company Maxis will not invest any further in Aircel. We recommend you to port to any other service provider as soon as you can.

You may also like to see: Vodafone 4G VoLTE started rolling out in India