TRAI wields axe on offenders
The telecom regulator has moved to cancel licences of new mobile service companies that failed to meet a key objective of being given spectrum at throwaway prices, the expansion of mobile telephony networks.delhi Updated: Nov 18, 2010 00:50 IST
The telecom regulator has moved to cancel licences of new mobile service companies that failed to meet a key objective of being given spectrum at throwaway prices, the expansion of mobile telephony networks.
The underpricing of spectrum in 2G telephony, which is rocking the nation, was aimed to boost mobile connectivity.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said on Wednesday that it was set to issue a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to cancel licences of new telecom service providers that have not met network roll-out conditions.
Etisalat, Uninor, S Tel, Loop Telecom and Videocon are among the new operators that did not meet the rollout conditions.
“The letter will be issued in a couple of days,” said a senior TRAI official. “Some operators have installed insufficient networks and that would also be considered as not meeting rollout obligations.”
As per licencing conditions, the licencees were required to roll out the services in 90% of service areas in metros and 10% in district headquarters within 12 months of the date of award of licences.
“Audit found out that though these six new operators obtained the initial 4.4 Mhz spectrum in 81 service areas during the period April 2008 to January 2009, none of them had rolled out their services as per the provision of Unified Access Licences in any service area till December 31,” according to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the 2G scandal that led to the exit of Communications Minister A. Raja.
“Even today many of them have not yet met rollout obligations,” said a TRAI official.