DoT issuing show cause notices for cancellation of 35 mobile concessions

19 Dec 2011

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is reported to be in the process of issuing show cause notices which call for a reason why some 35 mobile voice concessions should not be revoked for a failure to meet rollout obligations. According to The Hindu, the regulator informed parliament of its plans at the end of last week, with Milind Deora, minister of state for communications and IT, noting in a written reply to the Lok Sabha: ‘Show Cause Notices (SCNs) for termination of 16 unified access service licences (UASLs) Licenses have been issued for violation of the rollout obligations. [The] Government is in the process of issuance of the SCN for termination of UASL to another 35 licenses.’

The politician noted that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had previously recommended the cancellation of some 53 UASLs, while it had also proposed that legal opinion be sought again regarding the possible cancellation of a further 30 concessions. Operators that may yet face the revocation of their operating licences include Aircel, Etisalat, Idea Cellular (including Spice Communications), Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), Loop Mobile, Videocon Telecommunications and Unitech Wireless. Mr Deora did, however, note that no timeframe had been set for a final decision in the matter, stating: ‘For taking [a] decision on the recommendation of TRAI, the comments/opinion of other ministries/departments are also required and therefore a definite time frame cannot be given at this stage.’