TRAI suggests 38 2G concessions be cancelled; 31 more to be examined

13 Dec 2010

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that a number of wireless concessions be revoked as the fallout from a report published last month by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) continues; the report claimed the sale of the country’s 2G spectrum in 2008 at prices well below its value cost the government up to INR1.77 trillion (USD39.6 billion) in revenues. It is understood that the TRAI has said 38 permits issued to operators including Aircel, Dishnet Wireless, Etisalat DB and Unitech Wireless should be scrapped, while it has suggested that a further 31 licences – assigned to players such as Aircel, Allianz Infratech, Etisalat DB, Loop Telecom, Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Videocon – be legally examined.

This latest announcement comes after reports at the end of November that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was planning to issue notices to a number of companies that received telecoms licences in 2008 despite not meeting the eligibility criteria, asking why their concessions should not be revoked. The DoT has reiterated its intention to send out the notices, according to India’s Economic Times, and expects to send them out by the end of this week, following which operators will be given 60 days to respond.

India, Aircel, Etisalat DB (formerly Swan Telecom), Loop Mobile, Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL, MTS India), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Telenor India