Telenor worried over delay in spectrum auction timelines

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Telenor, which holds a majority stake in Uninor, on Tuesday expressed concern over the government’s plan to seek an extension on the August 31 deadline for spectrum auction and sought early completion of the airwaves sale process.

“From media reports we understand that the government plans to seek an extension of the auction timelines. Such delays are a matter of concern to us as they prolong the uncertainties we face,” Telenor Group said in a statement.

Uninor, whose 22 licences were among the 122 cancelled by the Supreme Court in its February order, is majority owned by Telenor (67.25 per cent). Realty major Unitech holds the remaining 32.75 per cent stake in the Indian telecom firm.

The Supreme Court had asked the government to complete the auction by August 31 and extended the validity of quashed licences till September 7.

Earlier in the day, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom decided to approach the apex court to seek an extension of August 31 deadline to complete the auction of airwaves.

“Auctioneer has given us schedule...we will approach the Supreme Court to place before them the fact what government has done. Also, we will place before them that in terms of this schedule, it is not possible to conduct auction by August 31,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said.

Telenor said: “We urge the government to conclude the auction process at the earliest. Of course, until any such extension is sought and granted, we have to continue working with the existing deadlines“.

(This article was published on August 7, 2012)
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