SC notice to Centre, telecom firms on spectrum allocation

Telecom Lead India: The Supreme Court has issued notices
to the Centre and seven telecom firms including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone for
cancellation of 2G spectrum beyond 2×4.5 MHz for metros and 2×4.4 MHz for other
circles, allocated to the firms without additional fees.


Reliance Telecom, Idea Cellular, Loop Mobile (India),
Spice Communications and Aircel Cellular have also received notices from the
Supreme Court.


A bench of Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhyay sought
response from the centre on the allegation of huge loss of public money to the
national exchequer within four weeks.


The court also sought the response of major service
providers such as Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, Reliance, Aircel, Loop and Spice on
the issue within four weeks.


Telecom Watchdog filed a petition alleging violation in
allocation of spectrum by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to the
existing operators in excess of their contractual entitlement without charging
extra spectrum fee, according to media reports.


In a similar matter, the Supreme Court on January 30, had
sought the replies of the Centre and telecom firms on a plea challenging the
allocation of 2G spectrum beyond the entry level of 4.4 MHz and 6.2 MHz without
charging additional fees from them.


It had also issued a notice to the Ministry of Finance,
Department of Telecom (DoT), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and
various telecom firms including Airtel, Vofafone, Idea, Loop and Tata on a plea
for reclaiming all the spectrum quantity allocated beyond the contracted
quantum of 6.2 MHz from the telecom firms.


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