DoT considers penalties for operators yet to launch services

20 Feb 2009

Dow Jones is reporting that the Indian government may penalise new operators that won Universal Access Service Licences (UASLs) in January 2008 but have yet to launch commercial services. Citing comments from the junior communications minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, to the upper house of Parliament, it is reported that telcos which have failed to meet launch obligations could be required to pay ‘liquidated damages’ to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT); the level of the financial penalty is understood to be under consideration by the regulator. Operators including Swan Telecom, Unitech Wireless and Loop Telecom could face the charges, as all licences issued in January 2008 stipulated that services must be launched within twelve months.