TDSAT starts to clear path for RCOM spectrum sale

4 Oct 2018

India’s Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has issued an interim order requesting that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) ‘expeditiously’ approve Reliance Communications’ (RCOM’s) planned spectrum sale. The Economic Times writes that the order also instructs RCOM not to sell a parcel of land worth around INR14 billion (USD190.4 million), as the asset will be used as a guarantee against the government’s demand for dues totalling INR29.5 billion. RCOM plans to use proceeds from the sale to pay Swedish vendor Ericsson dues totalling INR5.5 billion, whilst minority shareholders in Infrastructure unit Reliance Infratel would receive a combined INR2.3 billion from the returns. The paper notes, however, that the DoT may appeal the TDSAT’s decision, postponing the completion of the sale until after the next hearing, scheduled for 16 October.

Meanwhile, Ericsson has filed for contempt of court against RCOM chairman Anil Ambani, after RCOM missed the previously-agreed deadline of 30 September for its payment to the manufacturer. In its petition, Ericsson notes that equipment sales already completed by RCOM had raised sufficient funds to pay the vendor and in not doing so, the telco was not complying with a Supreme Court ruling from August this year.

India, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Reliance Communications (RCOM), Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio)