Reliance, Tata Tele face license revokes

Melissa Chua
12 May 2011

Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices may face getting several licenses revoked for missing network rollout requirements in India.

Sources in the know told the Economic Times that draft notices for failure to hit roll out targets under 10 licenses belonging to each company had been prepared and were awaiting approval.

Both companies offer both CDMA and GSM based mobile services and had received their dual technology licenses between 2007 and 2008, when the industry had been under the rule of embattled ex telecom minister A Raja.

Rules state that cellular operators have to begin offering services in 90% of their service areas in metropolitan areas and 10% in district headquarters within 12 months from license award date, but many Indian operators have failed to comply.

The government had last month issued license termination notices to Aircel, DB Etisalat and Sistema Shyam Teleservices for roll-out delays in eight circles.

A total of 17 notices have been issued for rollout delays and operators have 60 days to justify keeping their licenses despite failure to comply with roll out commitments.

India’s Department of Telecom had issued 119 such notices last year and collected about 3 billion rupees ($67.9 million) worth of fines.

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