Termination action on 35 telecom licenses by March

New Delhi : The department of telecom (DoT) Friday said it is in the process of issuing notices to telecom companies pertaining to 35 licenses that failed to meet rollout obligation.

“We are in the process of issuing notices to 35 licenses,” R. Chandrashekhar, Secretary, DoT, said on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry event. “That action would be completed by March.”

The telecom ministry had sought legal opinion on the cancellation of these licenses earlier.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended to DoT to impose a penalty and cancel 65 new licenses owing to the operators’ inability to meet out rollout obligation.

The DoT has issued 15 notices to new telecom companies.

These licenses were issued when A. Raja was the telecom minister. Raja is in jail after being accused of causing huge losses to the exchequer.

Raja was sacked when his ministry was accused of selling licences and spectrum at cheap rates, allegedly causing huge losses to the government.

Chandrashekhar said the new telecom policy, which includes new norms on managing spectrum and proposes de-linking licenses from spectrum, will be unveiled in January, a month later than scheduled.

The draft released by Communications Minister Kapil Sibal in October also suggested removing roaming charges for subscribers within the country, besides aiming to exponentially increase broadband availability and speed and allowing mobile numbers to be ported to any part of the country.

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