Supreme Court proposes to cancel Aircel’s 2G license, jeopardizes merger with RCom

The Supreme Court on Friday proposed to cancel Aircel’s 2G license if Maxis-owner Anantha Krishnan and Director Ralph Marshal do not present themselves before it within two weeks. The top court, led by Chief Justice J. S. Khehar, also restrained the transfer of 2G spectrum originally granted to Aircel to any other entity.

in-flight connectivity in India

The order could potentially threaten the proposed merger of Aircel with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom). Aircel and RCom are currently working towards merging their wireless businesses, which would result in a new entity, equally owned by Anil Ambani-led teco and and Maxis, which is controlled by tycoon T. Ananda Krishnan.

The merger, announced in September last year, would lead to creation of the country’s fourth-largest phone company if the transaction is completed. RCom had recently approached the Competition Commission of India for formal approval a month ago, said people with knowledge of the development.

Notably, Aircel recently concluded the sale of its 4G spectrum to India’s top telco, Bharti Airtel.

“We must have the accused before us. If he (the accused) uses the spectrum of our country, he must come here. He cannot use assets here and run away from the process of the court, we will not tolerate this,” Khehar was quoted as saying by media reports.

“This (spectrum licences) involves a lot of money which was earned as a matter of fraud (as per chargesheet).We cannot allow it to be earned if a party refuses to appear before us…We cannot allow the process of law to be defeated,” the bench, comprising Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The bench has reportedly asked the Telecom Ministry to work out ways to avoid adverse consequences following the order to Aircel subscribers by provisionally transferring 2G licences to others service providers.
Khehar suggested that the telecom department could even think of auctioning the spectrum off.

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48 Comments on "Supreme Court proposes to cancel Aircel’s 2G license, jeopardizes merger with RCom"


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Pravin Bhanusahli
January 10, 2017 2:20 pm 2:20 PM

Rcomm trying to beat the competition by merging with small time network operators! Not a great network to being with I cannot imagine it merging with mediocre networks resulting in a larger mediocre network.

January 10, 2017 2:22 am 2:22 AM

Apparently CBI has intervened and asked SC not to attach any part of Aircel meaning that the merger will go through anyway…..

January 7, 2017 8:06 pm 8:06 PM

The telegraph guy munnu does not know that Idea and BSNL are remaining in Tamilnadu who provide cheaper tariffs.

January 8, 2017 7:35 am 7:35 AM

Telegram vs pegion. It may be Aircel or Airtel or jio….it’s your money, your bills, not a share holder or employee or owner of any teleco. Why always cut your dicks in someone’s ass for nothing.

January 7, 2017 7:45 pm 7:45 PM

So after cancellation of license, network will disappear??
What about existing customers?

January 7, 2017 6:24 pm 6:24 PM

Good to hear this, Khehar ji. I salute you!

January 7, 2017 6:40 pm 6:40 PM

R u was in Mumbai on 5th Jan in Mumbai? May be I saw u or like u man was there ?

January 7, 2017 5:42 pm 5:42 PM

Rcom cheated cdma customers, now they will learn good lesson.

Devraj Khatri
January 7, 2017 6:57 pm 6:57 PM

No telecom laws applicable for RCom and Rjil. A panel works on gathering loopholes in the system. But now, not more than 1lac active CDMA upgrade customers in Reliance 4G. Out of 1 lac , only 3100 have subscribed to some 4G data packs. Funny thing is, as soon as Reliance GSM customers were lured into the 4G sim upgrade, they ported within 45 days.

January 7, 2017 10:02 pm 10:02 PM


January 7, 2017 9:50 pm 9:50 PM

I am a RCom 4G user, and have had a better experience so far than I had with their old 3G. RCom has started adding customers again. The 4G coverage is good. Please stop spreading lies.

Nithin Gowda
January 8, 2017 7:52 am 7:52 AM

Ha ha ha
Rcom plans more than airtel..
Courage is worst in bangalore..
If you used cdma, you will know how they cheated loyal customers…

January 8, 2017 2:15 pm 2:15 PM

Which company didn’t cheat? Is airtel or anyone else cheat free?
I can vouch for Rcom being not that bad especially in comparison to airtel.

January 7, 2017 5:37 pm 5:37 PM

This should have happened before. Kudos to SC. Good to see this. Aircel must be punished to worst levels. RCOM will have a great time without Aircel. I was surprised at RCOMs move of merging company with a tainted player like Aircel whose future is hanging because of involvement in scam. Aircel network compromised national security for many years by providing senstive information to middle East country(ies). Some classified information reveals this. Aircel users helped this company to do unfair activities and it is still continuing.

Devraj Khatri
January 7, 2017 7:01 pm 7:01 PM

I sold my bike and will take a lift from tomorrow. RCom sold all of its hardware and will now use Aircels towers for 2G and 4G. Aircel also has 1800 mhz spectrum which will be used as band 3 of RCom 4G.

January 7, 2017 10:02 pm 10:02 PM


January 7, 2017 9:52 pm 9:52 PM

RCom didn’t sell anything. Selling tower arm does not mean that they don’t have towers anymore. Network upgradation has occurred as late as yesterday in my areas. The bigger concern is the 1800MHz spectrum which I hope will be given to Rcom to continue operations in Gujarat circle.

January 7, 2017 5:15 pm 5:15 PM

This will be the second independence for fraudcel subscribers since 1947. Time for caveman to port into airtel. Hope now he will stop whining about fraudtel shutdown.

January 8, 2017 7:28 am 7:28 AM
Airtel too has black coverage areas, everywhere it is not like what you get in mumbai….why Airtel every time..try for the best and affordable services. Just mean someone is a number 1 mean end of the world for other? Airtel is good,only bad if it is marketing bluff with many stars and trying to control everything like how I use calls, data. Don’t remember Airtel zero….it want percentage of everything from innovation and OTT services by making itself into gate keeper of mobile Internet. From now all will get bucket offers. Everytime you pay lower bills than before, you should… Read more »
January 7, 2017 5:04 pm 5:04 PM

Really didn’t wanted to see this… Anyways Avoid should shut down the 2G services and everybody should move to 3G services

January 7, 2017 6:25 pm 6:25 PM

Well said. Why 3G – lets have all operators run on 4G – then we can have Jio-like voice breaks, call drops and above all – VOLTE

Sahil Shah
January 8, 2017 1:46 am 1:46 AM

Yes so thats why Airtel is planning to bring Volte right? Then you would face so many call drops and voice breaks in Airtel. 😛

January 8, 2017 1:41 am 1:41 AM

So according 2 u, we should have stayed in 2g….

Colonel Zaysen
January 10, 2017 1:26 am 1:26 AM

When AVOID Operators surrender 2G Spectrum by 2020 it will be given to MTNL in Delhi & Mumbai to continue it’s SHAM Network with Rs 2000 Crore Annual Loss on Wireless Business

Colonel Zaysen
January 10, 2017 1:24 am 1:24 AM

2G is reserved only for MTNL Dolphin Customers on a Simple Samsung Guru 1200 FF not looking at anything more than SMS Alerts, OTP’s and just to give a GSM # to those who ask for it, never mind if it works gets connected or not. So 2G will continue with MTNL Dolphin till MTNL’s Wireless Business is wound up or Sold.

Girish Gowda
January 7, 2017 11:33 pm 11:33 PM

Is there any brain?

January 7, 2017 8:26 pm 8:26 PM

A primitive non VoLTE network is fraudtel – looting customers. Feeling pitty on fraudtel which is begging at subscribers by pretenting to reduce the STV and data voucher rates. Fraudtel – ammaa, thaayae !!!.

January 7, 2017 8:14 pm 8:14 PM

I am talking about only three bands which Jio is providing

January 7, 2017 8:13 pm 8:13 PM

Why 4G? Does Avoid have enough spectrum to provide 4G services?

Kirti Delhi
January 7, 2017 7:49 pm 7:49 PM

habaha -1 Duane

Abhishek chatterjee
January 8, 2017 12:00 am 12:00 AM

@DUANE… japan, korea, australia, USA ( AT&T), taiwan, singapore already shut down their 2G service or some operators will be shut down on or before september 2017.

we dont need 2G services in INDIA after 2020.


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