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Supreme Court Allows Telcos With Revoked 2G Licenses To Operate Till Feb 4; Timeline

The Indian Supreme Court has allowed telecom operators whose licenses were cancelled following the Court’s judgement in the 2G scam case, to continue operations till February 4, 2013, the date of the next hearing, reports Reuters (via IBNLive). Prior to this development, the deadline for these telcos was January 18, 2013. The report states that Department of Telecom (DoT) had sought license extension for these telcos until March 2013, when the next 2G auctions are set to happen. DoT apparently stated that allowing telcos to operate till March will help them generate more interest in the March 2G auction, after the recent November 2G auction turned out to be a dud. A similar Livemint report also suggests that the court has sought details on the reserve price being set for the March auction. Implications We believe this development is good for mobile subscribers since it will provide them more time to port out to any other operator. It will also hopefully provide more time for Sistema and the Government to figure out a strategy to resolve Sistema's 2G license cancellation issue. Remember that Sistema had set a deadline for the government last month to resolve its issue, failing which it would be initiating international arbitration proceedings against the government and seek billions of dollars worth damages. 2G Spectrum Allocation Timeline Here’s a timeline of events following the Supreme Court Verdict in the 2G Spectrum Allocation Scam case: - Feb 2, 2012: Supreme Court cancels 122 licenses of 22 operators and directed the Government to conduct fresh auctions for…

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