05:01 am - Thursday 27 April 2017

Idea likely to get new licences soon from DoT

By insightVAS - Fri Aug 30, 1:10 pm

According to sources, Idea Cellular may soon get new telecom licences from Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The operator earlier refused to accept guidelines related to 3G roaming pacts in the unified license. The new licence agreement between DoT and Idea may also incorporate certain clauses proposed by Idea, sources added.

The Department had said that it was illegal for telecom operators to sell 3G services in areas where they do not have spectrum. Telecom companies Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular had contested the DoT’s point and the matter is now sub-judice. Telecom tribunal TDSAT had given a split verdict on the dispute between DoT and the three operators over 3G intra- circle roaming pacts. The matter is now pending with the Delhi High Court.

Idea had earlier refused to sign new telecom permit (Unified Licence) as it barred operators from entering into 3G intra-circle roaming agreement. The company had said the norms can be implemented only after final judgement of the court.

The DoT and Idea Cellular, sources said, have agreed to follow the court order with respect to implementation of norms related to 3G roaming pacts in new licences and the same has been approved by Ministry of Communications and IT Kapil Sibal.

“The approval of the minister has been obtained to sign the UL with Idea Cellular with addition of the above mentioned condition in the UL (AS) for Assam, West Bengal, North East, Tamil Nadu and Kolkata service area,” official sources said. 

When contacted Idea Cellular refused to comment on the development.

Idea had emerged second biggest winner by getting spectrum in 8 circles which included all the seven circles where its licences were cancelled and an additional win in Bihar where it licences were unaffected by the apex court order that cancelled 122 telecom permits in 2G scam. The seven circles where it had to take Unified Licences to operate include Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Kolkata, North East, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

DoT has also suggested signing Unified Licence agreement for Jammu and Kashmir and Orissa service areas where there is no mention of 3G roaming pact norms.

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