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DoT cancels licence of Swiss telco on security grounds
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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has cancelled the licence of Switzerland-registered firm ByCell to start telecom operations in five circles in India on security grounds.

DoT had issued a letter of intent (LoI) to ByCell in February 2008 for offering mobile services in Assam, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and the North-East. According to a notice on the department’s website, DoT has revoked five LoIs of ByCell, as the security clearance and all approvals of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) granted to the company have been withdrawn.

The DoT’s letter has been addressed to ByCell’s CEO Alexandre Louzine. DoT clarified that the withdrawal of the LoIs was subject to the final outcome of a writ petition before Delhi High Court.

ByCell holds a 74 per cent stake in an Indian telecom company floated jointly with Hyderabad-based Jayalakshmi Group, which has interests in tea, tobacco, cotton yarn and power. Though, FIPB in 2006 had approved ByCell’s proposal to invest Rs 500 crore in the Indian telecom sector, security concerns were raised by the home ministry.

Source: Business Standard

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