In a landmark judgement in the 2G spectrum scam, Supreme Court has today canceled all the 122 2G licenses that were issued during the tenure of ex Telecom Minister A Raja after January 2008.
The cancelled licenses include three of Tata Teleservices, 21 of Videocon, 22 of Uninor, 9 of Idea Cellular, 6 of Stel, 13 of Etisalat DB, 21 of Loop, and 21 of MTS.
While cancelling the licences, the Supreme Court ruled that 85 out of the 122 licences didn’t meet eligibility criteria for allocation.
Supreme Court has however allowed them to operate with these scrapped licenses for next four months, during this time period TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) will have to come up with a new way of distributing these licenses again.
According to agencies, “A penalty of Rs 5 crore has been imposed on Unitech Wireless, Swan Telecom and Tata Telecom. A penalty of Rs 50 lakh has also been imposed on Loop, S-Tel, Allianz and Sistema Shyam.”
When the TRAI comes up with the new policy, license will most likely be auctioned which will increase the cost for these operators and in general the industry. This verdict may affect the consumers as well since when the auction will be again held, telecos will have to shell out more money to grab the newly released spectrum. Anyway, off late most telecos have raised the prices of services in the past.
A clear picture, however, will emerge when the detail verdict will be known.