Telenor allowed to offset new spectrum fees

7 Mar 2013

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has allowed Norway’s Telenor to adjust the cost of its recently won spectrum by the INR16.58 billion (USD302.04 million) entry fee it paid in 2008, reversing a previous ruling by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the Economic Times writes citing an official with direct knowledge of the matter. The Norwegian group won back licences in six circles in November 2012, bidding via its new JV Telewing Communications, which inherited the assets of its previous venture Uninor after Telenor’s acrimonious split from its previous partner Unitech. The DoT had rejected Telenor’s previous request to offset its spectrum costs on the basis that it had participated in the most recent auctions through a different company to the one which entered the market in 2008 and had its licences quashed in February 2012. The DoT’s decision meant that Telenor was forced to pay INR13.25 billion – one third of its bid price – ‘under protest’ as an initial payment for its new concessions, whilst rivals Videocon and Idea Cellular completely offset the upfront price.

India, Telenor Group, Telenor India