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DoT awaits TRAI''s reply on licence cancellation issue - nairrk - 07-01-2011


Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said on Thursday the telecom department is waiting for a reply from the regulator Trai on cancellation of telecom licences for not meeting the rollout obligations.

Earlier, the Department of Telecom (DoT) had sought explanation from TRAI as to how it arrived at the decision of recommending cancellation of 69 licences, whereas it had recommended cancellation of 15 licences for not meeting the rollout obligations by telecom operators.

"We are waiting for a reply from TRAI on the issue of cancellation of licences for not meeting rollout obligations by telecom operators," Sibal told reporters. The cancellations pertain to licences issued in 2007-08 by former telecom minister A Raja, who was sacked last year as he was accused of selling licences and spectrum cheaply.

As of now the DoT have sent 10 notices for delay in network rollout and the remaining five are in the process.

Cancellation comes even as the Telecom Ministry has levied and collected over Rs 300 crore as liquidated damages from all the new telecom operators. Among the 69 cases identified by TRAI, some of the players had not rolled out any network while some had done it partially.

DoT and TRAI have differed in view of the former saying that only date of allocation of spectrum should be considered as zero-date and only after a lapse of 104 weeks from that date a licence can be cancelled for not meeting the roll-out obligations.

According to licence terms and conditions, an operator is required to cover 10% of a circle covered in the first year.

http://www.telecomtiger.com/PolicyNRegulation_fullstory.aspx?passfrom=breakingnews&storyid=11694&section=S174