CAG seeks 4G roll-out status from DoT

Friday, Dec 12, 2014,20:40 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | With four and half years having passed since allocation 4G spectrum, the CAG has asked Telecom Department to provide the roll-out status of the broadband wireless access services by these entities. The successful bidders were given five years time to roll-out the 4G services by July 2015.
CAG last week wrote to DoT seeking roll-out status of network by the successful bidders – Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Qualcomm (acquired by Bharti), Tikona, Infotel (now Reliance Jio Infocomm) and Augere, an official source said. As per auction conditions, all of them have to provide 90 per cent coverage in metro area, if they has spectrum there, and 50 per cent of rural area within five years.
If a company fails to meet roll-out conditions, spectrum will be taken back. These six companies won BWA spectrum, which can be used for 4G services, in 2010. The government had raised over Rs 35,000 crore through this auction. The BWA spectrum were allocated to all companies, except Qualcomm, in July 2010. Qualcomm was allocated BWA spectrum in May 2012 due to a a dispute with DoT which was later resolved in court.
Airtel in October 2013 acquired subsidiaries of US electronic chipmaker Qualcomm, which had purchased spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. Till date, only Airtel and Aircel have announced partial launch of services using BWA spectrum. Infotel, now Reliance Jio, is the only company to hold pan-India BWA spectrum but it is yet to launch its services.
Reliance Jio has announced that company will launch its 4G services in 2015 in around 5,000 towns and cities, accounting for over 90 per cent of urban India and over 215,000 villages.