Failed bidders in fresh 2G auction to cease operation, says Supreme court
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The apex court had on February 2, last year cancelled 122 licences for 2G spectrum and had directed the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to hold fresh auction for them within four months. The deadline was extended by its interim orders from time to time.
As per the apex court order, 21 licences of Sistema Shyam Teleservices (MTS), 16 permits of Telenor controlled Uninor, 15 of Videocon and 3 CDMA permits of Tata Teleservices were to stand cancelled from January 18, affecting around 25 crore subscribers in the country.
Telenor is in the process of transferring the business of Uninor in 6 circles to new entity Telewings Communications, which recently won spectrum in fresh auction.
In the November 2012 auction, five telecom operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Telenor-promoted Telewings, Videocon and Idea Cellular -- had applied for participating in the auctions.
Sistema Shyam Teleservices had not participated while Videocon won spectrum in six circles and Idea won spectrum in eight circles and Telenor got spectrum in six circles.
Earlier, the Centre had asked the court to consider allowing telecom operators, whose 2G licences were cancelled last year, to continue to operate after the January 18
deadline with a condition that they "will be liable to pay" for the spectrum as per the proposed price of the upcoming auction on March 11.
The DoT had stated its stand in an affidavit which assumes importance as the court has permitted the telecom operators to continue to operate till January 18.
The DoT had asked the apex court to consider allowing it to grant "temporary licences" to such operators till the completion of the fresh bidding process.
The court by its various interim orders had allowed the telecom companies whose licences were quashed by the verdict to continue with the operation till the fresh auction for 2G spectrum was completed.
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