Idea Cellular in Karnataka receives notice

“The notices was sent recently. The companies have been given 60 days to respond,” Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekar said here on Friday.

In 2008, Idea bought Spice, but has not yet received approval from the DoT to go ahead with the merger.

Idea and Spice Telecom had procured these licences in January, 2008, during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja, who has been arrested on charges of irregularities in distribution of 122 new licences along with the 2G spectrum.

Earlier, the government collected approximately Rs 300 crore as liquidated damages from new operators, including Idea and Spice, over their failure to roll-out their networks as per the licence agreement. After collecting the penalties, notices are now being sent for cancellation of licences.

Telecom regulator TRAI had also recommended the cancellation of licences of leading mobile operators Idea Cellular and Spice in five states for their failure to roll out services within the stipulated time.

However, Aditya Birla group firm Idea had earlier said that it “has not breached the licence agreement”.

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