TRAI likely to issue biz guidelines for new operators

TRAI likely to issue biz guidelines for new operators

To protect mobile users' interest in the backdrop of cancellation of 2G licences by the Supreme Court, telecom regulator TRAI is likely to come out with fresh guidelines on the business modalities to be followed by the companies that have lost licences, according to sources.

As the companies, which have invested billions of dollars in infrastructure, are set to lose the existing licences in four months, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is examining the issues such as selling recharge coupons and fresh connections by these service providers, sources close to the development said.

"This is something that is being examined right now. TRAI is likely to take decision on these issues very shortly and come out with a set of instructions," they told PTI.

Last week, the apex court had ordered cancellation of 122 2G licences terming them as illegal. As per the Court order the existing licences are valid for only four months.

The companies that are set to lose on account of the cancellation of the licenses are Uninor (joint venture between Unitech and Telenor of Norway), Loop Telecom, Sistema Shyam (joint venture between Shyam and Sistema of Russia), Etisalat DB (joint venture between Swan and Etisalat of UAE), S Tel, Videocon, Tatas and Idea.

Though consumers have the option of portability to other service providers, TRAI is of the opinion that many customers are not aware of the fact that the existing provider cannot extend service if it fails to obtain licence in the fresh 2G auction, sources said.

"We have to understand one thing that people (companies) are doing their business. On one hand, they have a right to do their business, but there is also the question of consumer interest," sources said.

According to a senior official of Uninor, as of now there is no restriction by TRAI on their business activities.

Uninor, has added over 3 lakh customers in last one week after the Supreme Court verdict, Uninor Managing Director Sigve Brekke had recently said at a press briefing.