The Department of Telecom (DoT) has announced the cancellation of UAS (Unified Access Service) License of Russian-owned, Swiss-registered Telecom operator ByCell Telecommunications Pvt Ltd to start telecom operations (Mobile Services) in 5 Telecom circles named Assam, Orissa, Bihar-Jharkhand, North East and West Bengal, on grounds of security concerns.
After the Indian home ministry’s concerns about ByCell’s shareholding structure, its source of funding and the lack of clarity about the company DoT cancelled the mobile network operator licenses.
According to Mr. RK Gupta Director (Access Services -I cell ), Department of Telecommunications (DOT), notice sent to ByCell Telecommunications (India) Pvt Ltd which stated “The 5 letters of intent (LoIs) are hereby withdrawn as the security clearance and all the FIPB approvals granted to the company have been withdrawn.” The DOT will refund the entry fee and performance guarantee that the operator paid as part of its concession award Rs. 860 million (USD19.33 million).
The Department of Telecom (DoT) also clarified that the withdrawal of the LoIs was subject to the final outcome of a writ petition before Delhi High Court.
ByCell Telecommunications India Private Limited (ByCell-India) incorporated on October 13, 2005 as a subsidiary of ByCell Holding AG completes two challenging years in India. In January 2006 ByCell formed a joint venture agreement with Hyderabad-based Jayalakshmi Group own Bitcorp Private Limited (the local partner) for ByCell-India and also received the FIPB approval. The Swiss Telecom Venture ByCell holds a 74 per cent stake in an Indian telecom company floated jointly with Jayalakshmi Group