www.WirelessFederation.com/news: The mobile network operator licenses awarded to Russian-owned, Swiss-registered ByCell has been revoked by India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on the grounds of security concerns. The operator was allowed to launch services in five circles; Assam, Orissa, Bihar, North East and West Bengal.
According to the letter from the regulator to ByCell’s CEO, the five letters of intent (LoI) are hereby withdrawn as the security clearance and all the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals granted to the company have been withdrawn.
The entry fee and performance guarantee, paid by the telco as part of its concession award, totalling INR860 million (USD19.33 million) will be refunded by DoT.
In May 2009, a report came as per which the approval granted to ByCell by FIPB to roll out a GSM network was withdrawn on the back of renewed security concerns after calls by the revenue department and the Ministry of Home Affairs to review the operator’s application. Company’s source of funding and shareholding structure was the reason of concern for both the government bodies.