The government has sent a show-cause notice to Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB) asking to explain why its licences in Delhi and Mumbai circles should not be cancelled for missing roll-out obligations.
The move comes after the Telecom Ministry collected over Rs 300 crore financial penalty from most of the new operators, including Etisalat DB, for not starting services in stipulated time after getting the licences and spectrum.
Etisalat DB's former Managing Director Shahid Balwa is in judicial custody for his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum scam of 2008. After his arrest by CBI, Balwa had resigned from his post.
Etisalat DB was formed after Swan Telecom inducted UAE-based Etisalat as a foreign partner with 45 per cent equity stake. It has licences for 15 circles.
According to sources in DoT, notice for cancellation of the licence is as per the recommendations of telecom regulator TRAI which had asked the government to impose penalty and cancel as many as 69 new licences for not rolling out services within time frame.
Sources further said that DoT may send similar notices other new operators, who have missed the deadline for rolling services even after 52 weeks of getting spectrum, sources in DoT said.
Etisalat DB was the only new operator to get spectrum in Delhi circle. But it did not start services even after two years of getting spectrum and it is is a violation of licence terms and conditions.
Tata Teleservices, Unitech Wireless and others have been demanding spectrum in the Delhi circle but no operator could get due to non-availability of radiowaves here.