The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Wednesday told operators Etisalat DB and STel to continue offering services till June 2, the limit specified by the Supreme Court for expiry of their licences.
The SC had cancelled their licences in its famous order of February, scrapping all 122 telecom licences issued in early 2008.
The two companies had announced shutting of their operations much ahead of the time specified by the court. The court had delivered its order on February 2 and given four months for the cancellation to take effect.
Etisalat on Wednesday said it would not entertain any request for payments by creditors or claimants, except those ordered by the court, as the Bombay High Court had adjourned the hearing on its winding-up petition to April 18.
“Etisalat DB confirms that this matter has been adjourned to April 18 for all claimants to file the particulars of their claim. Until April 18, no payment to be made by the company to any creditor or claimant other than under the orders of the Court,” a statement issued jointly by EDB and UAE-based Etisalat said.
Trai has directed the two companies to restore their network, continue services and maintain quality till their licences were operational. And, give a compliance report to Trai within three days. While Etisalat shut operations by the end of March in its 15 circles, S Tel stopped services in mid-March in its six circles. Another provider, Loop Telecom, which announced plans to shut operations, would be doing so by the end of its licence period.
In two separate directions, Trai said these operators must comply with the terms and conditions of the licence to protect the interests of consumers, ensure technical compatibility and effective inter-connection between providers.
By the licence conditions, said Trai, operators should continue until termination or suspension. Also, if an operator wanted to surrender its licence, it should give a notice of 60 days and notify all its consumers.