Uninor 2G spectrum: It is Norway v/s India government

By Telecom
Lead Team:
The Norwegian government is all set to raise the recent issue of
scrapping 2G licenses with Indian authorities.


The Norwegian government
owns nearly 54 percent stake in Telenor, which holds a 67 percent stake in
Unitech Wireless. Telenor is planning a diplomatic and legal measure to secure
its investments in India. However, it is also readying with an aggressive
bidding plan to bag licences in a fresh auction.


Uninor faces 2G spectrum trouble


Last week, the
Supreme Court cancelled 121 mobile licences, including Unitech Wireless’s 22,
issued by former telecom minister A Raja in 2008. Unitech Wireless will
swallow the maximum impact of the court ruling, as it invested around Rs 14,000
crore in setting up operations.


Today, Rigmor
Aasrud, Norwegian minister of government administration, reform and church
affairs, will be in Delhi to meet “stakeholders”, including
government functionaries. Separately, Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former
Norwegian prime minister and a UN special envoy on climate change, is also expected
to broach the issue with Indian authorities, according to a report in Times of

The Norwegian government declared that they are following this
situation and will actively contribute to secure Telenor Group’s investments
and presence in India. Since Supreme Court ruling, the Norwegian
embassy already discussed the issue with the Indian government.


Telenor is
also ready with a legal strategy that is not limited to filing a review
petition. The carrier will negotiate the matter through a Bilateral
Investment Protection Agreement, which the Indian government inked with Norway.


The carrier
also cited that it entered India through a holding company in Singapore and
India has signed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation
Agreement (CECA) with Singapore where investment is a critical


Last week,
Telenor said that it has decided to write down NOK 4.2 billion ($721.33
million) related to licences and goodwill in India following the Supreme
Court’s decision on Thursday to cancel Uninor’s 22 licences there.


The company
said the write down will be included in Telenor’s results for the fourth
quarter of 2011, to be presented on Wednesday.

By Danish Khan
[email protected]