DoT may cancel 15 new licences

DoT may cancel 15 new licences

DoT may cancel 15 new licences

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
The Telecom Ministry may move to cancel 15 new licences, which, it has found to be liable for cancellation due to delayed rollout of network.

Officials at the ministry confirmed that the rollout obligation of a total of just 15 licences with various telecom operators, mainly the new players, were found to have not been met and as such were laible for cancellation. The number has come down from 69 licences recommended by telecom regulator TRAI to be cancelled.

Earlier, the DoT had identified 17 cases fit for sending notices for cancellation of licences on account of delay in network rollout.

In two cases, the DoT found that spectrum was allocated only in few districts of a circle so it was difficult to interpret terms and conditions of a licence which says that 10 per cent of a circle should be covered in the first year. In view of this, two cases have been dropped by the DoT.

Last year, TRAI had recommended to the DoT to cancel 69 telecom licences of five operators, including joint ventures of Telenor-Unitech, Etisalat-Swan and Sistema-Shyam.

Officials said till now DoT had sent 10 notices and rest five were expected to be issued within this week. All these are on account of delay in network rollout.

The cancellations pertain to licences issued in 2007-08 by former Telecom Minister A Raja, who was sacked last year when his ministry was accused of selling licences and spectrum cheaply, possibly costing the government billions of dollars in revenue.

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