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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed Etisalat DB and S Tel to restart their services within three days. The Supreme Court of India had cancelled 122 licences including that of Etisalat DB and S Tel. The court had given four months of time to wrap up their services and inform their users to port over to other telecom operators. Following the SC order, the two companies announced closure of their operations in the country.
The telecom regulator underlined that the licences haven't been annulled by the government, the actual licensor but the Supreme Court; therefore, the companies cannot terminate their services as until their licences are valid.
The telecom regulator has also directed the two operators to furnish it with the compliance report within three days. The operators have been asked to “comply with all the provisions of the unified access service licence, ensure connectivity of service to its subscribers and maintain the quality of service till licence is operational,” TRAI said in its directions issued to both companies separately.
The telecom regulator, in its notice to the two companies, added that under the licence conditions, operators are required to give a notice of 60 days before surrendering or closing operations.“Etisalat DB had sent a communication on March 16 to TRAI informing that it will close services on March 31. The Supreme Court, while quashing the licences in February, had said that the order will become operational after four months,” said a TRAI official adding that networks will have to be kept operational till June 2 when the four-month period ends.
It's learnt that most of the operators such as Videocon and Loop Mobile are in the process of winding up their services following the apex court. Before closing down operations, STel had some 3.4 million users, Etisalat DB 1.7 million and Loop Telecom about 6,000. The TRAI is going to issue similar orders to all other companies that closed services without giving notice.