29 July, 2021

Sorry, Switching Off

Telecom firms endure the tension of not being able to wield influence

Jitender Gupta
Sorry, Switching Off

Waiting for the axe to fall: likely scenarios

  • Supreme Court may order outright cancellation of licences on the basis of the CBI probe
  • Norms provide for cancellation if there are procedural flaws or failure on rollout obligation
  • With number portability active, subscribers will not suffer as they can go to other telcos
  • Most vulnerable are Unitech, Swan, which have been questioned on many counts
  • Companies are  scared, as there is no appeal if SC orders licence cancellation
  • Some may escape with fines, as SC may look at investments in infrastructure
  • Foreign firms putting pressure, say they followed the rules and should not suffer
  • Only delaying factor could be the JPC, which is  to submit report in three months


“Your government, we can work with. But the Supreme Court is a different matter,” says a senior member of the ‘SWAT team’...

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