Govt makes case for more time for revoked telecom licences

NEW DELHI Tue Jan 8, 2013 7:43pm IST

A construction supervisor speaks on a mobile phone amid rolls of underground telephone cable pipes on the outskirts of the southern Indian city of Hyderabad November 29, 2010. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder/Files

A construction supervisor speaks on a mobile phone amid rolls of underground telephone cable pipes on the outskirts of the southern Indian city of Hyderabad November 29, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Krishnendu Halder/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The government has asked the Supreme Court whether mobile phone carriers whose licences will be revoked due to an earlier order can operate until an airwave auction in March, said a senior government official with direct knowledge of the matter.

The move aims to generate more interest in the auction after the government failed to attract takers for GSM spectrum in four key telecommunication zones and no bidders for CDMA areas in an auction in November, the official said.

The official, who said the government filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, said an extension would also ensure continuity of services to consumers.

The Supreme Court ordered 122 zonal permits to be revoked last year, saying a 2008 government grant process was flawed.

The court order affected eight carriers including the Indian units of Norway's Telenor (TEL.OL) and Russia's Sistema, as well as Idea Cellular.

The government held an auction of mobile phone airwaves in November to allow some of those companies to win back spectrum, but the sale raised less than a quarter of its 400 billion rupee target.

An extension by the court would allow Sistema's Indian unit to continue operations beyond January 18 in 21 zones, as it did not participate in the earlier auction. It would also allow Telenor to continue to provide services in Mumbai.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Popularity Poll

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Record Highs

Record Highs

Nifty touches record high; software stocks gain.  Full Article 

New Adviser

New Adviser

Arvind Subramanian likely to be chief econ adviser.  Full Article 

Pricing Mechanism

Pricing Mechanism

Govt sets up a four-member panel to re-examine gas pricing.  Full Article 

Royalty Rates

Royalty Rates

India to hike iron ore royalty, miners may struggle to pass on extra cost.  Full Article 

Diesel Deregulation

Diesel Deregulation

Oil ministry to seek Cabinet nod on diesel deregulation - sources  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Gold near two-month low; set for weekly drop on interest rate fears  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

Apple iPhone 6 screen snag leaves supply chain scrambling   Full Article 

Helping Regional Mills

Helping Regional Mills

Govt raises sugar import duty to 25 pct from 15 pct.  Full Article 

Curbing Risks

Curbing Risks

RBI to lower ceiling on bank loans to a single corporate group.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage