Decision on telecom licences renewal in two weeks, court told

The central government Friday informed the Delhi High Court that it will decide the applications of renewal of licences of telecom service providers Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Loop Telecom within two weeks.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher, accepting the submissions of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A.S. Chandhiok that the applications will be decided as per the law, disposed of the petitions and said that detailed order will be passed later in the day.

Leading telecom service providers Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Loop Telecom have moved the high court challenging telecom department's move to put for auction 900 MHz spectrum despite their applications for licence extension pending with the department.

The companies had in December last year sought extension of their licence period for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles, which are coming up for renewal in November 2014.

The three service providers hold spectrum in the 900 MHz band, which the department of telecommunications plans to auction along with auction of 1,800 and 800 MHz beginning March 11.

The telecom operator has sought the extension under clause 4.1 of the licence agreement under which the government can extend the period of licence by 10 years at one time if the request is made by the operator during the 19th year of the licence period.

The companies moved the court after the Supreme Court last week said that auction of 900 MHz spectrum was not part of its Feb 2, 2012 order and companies are free to challenge it before any court of law.


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