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India's DoT eyes cancellation of 20 more telco licences

28 марта 2011

The fallout from India's mobile licensing scandal continued this week as the country's regulator the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) geared up to cancel a further 20 licences, according to local press.

"Two [show cause] notices had been issued and 20 more notices will be issued soon for cancellation of licences for not meeting rollout obligations," said DoT secretary R. Chandrashekhar, in a report by The Economic Times on Thursday. He did not name the operators due to be notified.

The other two show cause notices Chandrashekhar referred to were sent last week to Etisalat and Idea Cellular, for the cancellation of the former's licences covering the Delhi and Mumbai service areas, and the latter's concession for the Punjab telecom circle.

In a separate report by The Economic Times on Friday, Chandrashekhar said the government will evaluate the responses to its show cause notices and decide in a month's time whether to cancel the mobile licences of allegedly ineligible operators that were allocated spectrum in 2008 by then telecoms minister A. Raja.

The move to scrap licences stems from recommendations made in November 2010 by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to cancel 62 licences held by five of the country's operators on grounds that services had either been rolled out improperly or in some cases not deployed at all.

One of the telcos embroiled in the debacle, Loop Telecom, earlier this month offered to return its spectrum, proposing that the government re-auction it along with its operating licence.

Loop Telecom acquired licences in 21 circles in 2008 for 14.54 billion rupees (€230 million) – significantly below the spectrum's market value.

Источник: Total Telecom

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