TDSAT supports TRAI against closed down operator

14 Sep 2012

India’s Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has ruled in favour of the sector watchdog the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) confirming that former cellco S-Tel, which closed down operations after its operating licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February this year, ‘ignored its legal obligations’ by shutting down. In early April, S-Tel was ordered by the TRAI to continue offering services until the licences are officially terminated, though this decision was challenged by the provider. According to the Indian Express, TDSAT supported the TRAI’s position that although the licences were cancelled in February, the cancellation was not due to come into effect until June (though this was subsequently pushed back to September, then January 2013) and by terminating its services in March, it had broken the conditions of its concession. Under the normal terms of its licence, S-Tel was obliged to provide the regulator with 60 days’ notice of its intended closure, and customers 30 days.