Idea could see delay in Punjab 3G launch

1 Sep 2010

With India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) preparing to allocate third generation spectrum, mobile operator Idea Cellular is reportedly likely to miss out on being granted permission to launch services in the Punjab circle, according to The Financial Express. It is understood that the regulator may withhold its approval for Idea’s 3G launch in Punjab until the amendment of Spice Communications’ Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) for the circle; Idea holds its licence to operate in the region via Spice. The transfer of Spice’s Punjab UASL is currently under consideration, while the merger of Idea and Spice in six overlapping service areas – Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana – is also still being examined. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, approval for the merger was given by the High Courts of Gujarat and Delhi in December 2009 and February 2010 respectively, but the final stages of the tie-up have yet to be completed.