Supreme Court yet to decide on telecom license plea

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supreme courtThe trial on the extension of telecom licenses to use 900MHz spectrum was held today at Supreme Court. However, the court reserved its decision on the same to a later date.

The verdict will decide if prominent telecom service providers, including Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom will receive a 10 year extension to their existing licenses, which will come to an end by December 2015.

The telecom players submitted the plea for extension by the earlier National Telecom Policy but was rejected by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) saying that the policy was amended in 2012. Claiming the current MNP situation as ‘unworkable’ and ‘unmanageable’, the telecom players said that a license extension would help them to offer services without any disruptions.

Also read: Circle wise provisional results of spectrum auction 2015

Nevertheless, the Government argued that the licenses are in possession of these telecom giants for past 20 years and they are earning trillions from the same. According to the data submitted by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, Bharati Airtel has earned an approximate of Rs. 4.6 trillion, while Vodafone India has earned Rs. 2.85 trillion. Idea Cellular and Reliance stays a little lower, at Rs. 1.76 trillion and Rs. 1.4 trillion respectively.

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