Videocon Telecom Asked to Continue Punjab Ops
Regulator directs co to maintain service quality till validity of licence
Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has directed Videocon Telecom to continue its mobile services operations in Punjab and maintain quality of service till the time its licence is operational or valid, rejecting the company’s decision to shut services from February 15.
In a notice published on its website Tuesday, Trai has also asked Videocon, which runs the Punjab services under Quadrant Televentures (QTL), to provide a compliance report by Friday. Videocon Telecom, among India’s smallest operators, had informed its three mil- lion subscribers in January that it will close down its operations from February 15 and had asked them to migrate to other networks. It had said that prepaid customers should exhaust their balance and subscribers being billed monthly should clear their dues before moving to other carriers, the company had then stated in its website. The company was asked to surrender its Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) in order to shut down its services. But in a letter to Trai dated February 8, Videocon Telecom said it could not surrender as it was continuing to offer wireline services under its current permit which was valid till September 2017, and had informed the department of telecommunications (DoT) about its intentions to shut only its mobile services.
It added it also could not give up its spectrum since its spectrum usage right case is being heard before the telecom appellate tribunal TDSAT.
Trai said that as per rules, an operator cannot stop its services unless its licence expires or is suspended. “Since none of these eventualities have occurred in the instant case, the conditions of the UASL do not permit QTL to discontinue its commercial services as per the licence,” Trai said. ET had reported last month that the firm had incurred losses and was not keen to invest further in the business because it was not sure whether the validity of its spectrum holdings in the circle would be extended till 2027, the people said.
FILE PHOTO Transmit till permit lasts