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- Idea Cellular Ltd
Idea moves Tribunal for 3G spectrum allocation in Punjab


TDSAT has issued notice to the DoT and sought its response within two weeks. It has listed the matter for hearing on February 10.


Our Bureau

New Delhi, Jan. 31

Idea Cellular has filed an appeal with the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal seeking directions to the Department of Telecom to allocate spectrum for third generation (3G) mobile services in Punjab.

The DoT has held back the allocation because of a technical issue pertaining to Idea Cellular's merger with Spice Telecom.

Accepting the plea, the TDSAT issued notice to the DoT and sought its response within two weeks. It has listed the matter for hearing on February 10.

Idea Cellular's plans to roll out 3G mobile services in Punjab has got delayed with DoT getting caught in a technical issue with respect to licensing. Idea Cellular has overlapping licences in Punjab post its acquisition of Spice. Idea Cellular may have to surrender one of its licences in Punjab. Idea had got its own licence for Punjab, but also acquired Spice Cellular which had operations in the same circle. The company has been seeking a refund for surrendering the licence.

Senior counsel Mr A.M. Singhvi, representing Idea Cellular, said that following its merger with Spice Telecom, the latter doesn't exist and all its rights be treated by the DoT as those of the Aditya Birla group firm.

He submitted that despite several requests by the group, the DoT has not amended Letter of Intent and failed to issue 3G licence in Punjab to Idea Cellular.

All the other operators who won 3G spectrum have already received spectrum on September 1.

Idea cellular paid Rs 5,768 crore to get licences of 3G mobile service in 11 circles of which Rs 322 crore is for the Punjab circle.

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