Stating that the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has received replies from all the operators, who were issued show cause notices for not meeting the eligibility norms for issuing of licenses, the Telecom Ministry said it would soon decide on the action to be taken.
“The replies to all the earlier show cause notices for the cancellation on account of eligibility have been received. For failure of the roll-out, the operators have 60 days to reply,” Telecom Secretary, R. Chandrasekhar said on the sidelines of a FICCI event here.
Last year, DoT served 119 show cause notices to various telecom operators, of which 85 were for those who were ineligibile to get licences. “They are currently under examination and we hope in the next couple of weeks to form our final decision,'' he said.
The notices, as pointed out by the CAG, were sent out to telecom companies for their alleged ineligibility to get licences due to the misinformation furnished by them and for their failure to timely roll out networks. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had listed out licences given to new operators, including Unitech, Videocon, S-Tel, Loop and Swan. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also pointed out lapses in licences held by these apart from few others while recommending their cancellation.
The CAG estimated a revenue loss of up to Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in awarding licences and spectrum, the value of which were fixed according to 2001 price, for pan-India operations during the tenure of former Telecom Minister, A. Raja. The operators were given 60 days to respond to the show cause notices and each case would be dealt separately.
On the encrypted communications on the BlackBerry's Enterprise mail services and Nokia's push mail services, Mr. Chandrasekhar said the Ministry was separately looking at all the issues related to encrypted communications. “A committee has been constituted and they have completed their work and once the final report is before us we will then discuss the next step with the security agency,” he said.
Recently, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in a communication to the DoT asked the service providers to bar Nokia's push mail till the company put a legal security framework.