They have failed to roll out their networks as per schedule; 119 notices issued to new operators

The Department of Telecommunications has so far raised Rs.215 crore from mobile companies which failed to roll out their networks as per schedule.

Following the report of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the DoT last month issued 119 notices to new mobile operators for missing network rollout obligations and imposed hefty penalties on them.

Initially some operators objected to the notice, but later they started making payments.

Till now, Rs.215.6 crore (as liquidated damages) has been deposited with the DoT against the demand of Rs.342.6 crore raised till January 21, 2010.

The licensees were required to roll out their services in 90 per cent of service areas in metros and 10 per cent in district headquarters within 12 months (52 weeks) from the date of award of licence.

Guidelines of the TRAI say that if show-cause was issued for cancellation of licences, the operators will be given 60 days to respond before a final decision is taken. The operators are supposed to make payment within 15 days of the notice on penalty payment.