To retain rights over the spectrum and keep the enterprise business alive, the bankrupt entity Reliance Communications (RCom) has requested the telecom department to renew its telecom license for a period of 20 years. In response, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has demanded the ownership details of Rcom. As reported by ET Telecom, Reliance Communications is managed by a resolution professional (RP) Deloitte as part of the bankruptcy process under the IBC. One of the officials who is aware of the information stated that the spectrum license of RCom would expire in July. The lenders of the entity who will come forward and accept the ownership will be liable to respond to queries revolving around the payment of statutory dues.
DoT Can Recover Dues by Allowing RCom to be a Licensed Entity
Even though Reliance Communications shut down its smartphone business back in 2017, the company is still running the business for enterprise customers. To date, RCom has not paid a single penny out of its Rs 26,000 crore AGR dues. There are multiple hurdles for the telecom department to recover their dues.
One of the major ways through which DoT can recover its dues is by allowing RCom to be a licensed entity. If DoT terminates the license of the company, it will lose the right to use over its residual spectrum. Further, if the spectrum will not be sold, the resolution process will break apart. Currently, RCom holds airwaves in the 850 MHz band in 14 telecom circles.
RCom has a Debt of More than Rs 46,000 Crore
While filing bankruptcy, RCom had a debt of more than Rs 46,000 crore from more than 54 creditors. The financial creditors such as foreign banks, local banks, non-banking finance companies and various funds have claimed nearly Rs 57,382 crore, out of which Rs 49,224 crore have been accepted by the resolution professional. It is expected that Reliance Infratel, the tower business of RCom, will be picked by Reliance Jio, which will not be hampered by the DoT decision. Another person who is aware of the matter stated that the tower business does not need the license as telco giant can least them out.