Centre moves SC to extend deadline for telcos

Seeking to avoid disruption of services to subscribers and also safeguard public revenue, the Centre on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court and requested it to consider allowing the telecom operators, whose 2G licences were cancelled last year, to continue to operate after the January 18 deadline.

It said that such temporary relief to these firms shall be subject to a further condition that they will be liable to pay the price discovered for the spectrum in the proposed auction or the reserve price, whichever is higher, with effect from December 19, 2012.

"Such an arrangement will avoid disruption of services to the subscribers on the one hand and safeguard the public revenue on the other, and also give an opportunity to the service providers to serve their subscribers uninterruptedly," the affidavit filed through Department of Telecommunications secretary R Chandrashekhar stated.

As per the apex court order, 21 licences of Sistema Shyam Teleservices, 16 permits of Telenor-controlled Uninor, 15 of Videocon and 3 CDMA permits of Tata Teleservices will stand cancelled from January 18. Telenor is in the process to transferring Uninor's business under new entity Telewings Communications, which recently won spectrum.

The affidavit stated that it has decided to have another round of auction in four service areas in 1800 MHz band and in all the 21 service areas in 800 MHz band which got no bids.

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