Faulty telcos to pay fine on rolling out services after deadline (India)

All 119 telecom licensees set to receive show-cause notices for failing to launch services within the stipulated time frame are unlikely to face the threat of cancellation of their 2G mobile permits.

According to officials, the telecoms ministry will divide these licensees into two categories and the companies which launched services, though delayed, are set to escape with a fine. The telecoms ministry will study the rollouts in detail to determine which telcos have completely failed to launch services and also identify those that have undertaken token launches and separate these from those licensees that have failed to meet rollout deadlines, but implemented full-fledged service in the circles they hold permits for.

The country has 22 telecom circles and a pan-India mobile phone company has 22 mobile licenses.

According to the telecoms ministry’s access service cell, in a recent internal note,  laws mandate that mobile permits have to be cancelled for failure to adhere to stipulated timeframe, but in many cases, since companies have launched services, it may be examined whether the licenses may be continued to avoid inconvenience to the public, while also adding that the ministry should seek legal opinion on this issue.