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


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[…] Also Read: Supreme Court proposes to cancel Aircel’s 2G license, jeopardizes merger with RCom […]

Mitali Khetani
January 24, 2017 7:28 pm 7:28 PM

Aircel Mumbai has blocked port sms to 1900. Sms to other numbers are able to sent but sms to 1900 is getting failed. Aircel has still not informed to customers to port out from Aircel Network. To get upc code if Aircel customer manually selects Reliance network then only port sms to 1900 can be sent but from Aircel network sms to 1900 is blocked by AIRCEL. TRAI and DOT should take strict action against AIRCEL for blocking sms to 1900.

[…] Also read: Supreme Court proposes to cancel Aircel’s 2G license, jeopardizes merger with RCom […]

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.


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