Jolted by the Indian Supreme Court's judgement that cancelled 122 telecom licences issued in 2008, the new operators on Thursday expressed shock over the verdict and indicated that they may file review petition.
The affected companies whose licences are cancelled include Uninor (joint venture between Unitech and Telenor of Norway), Sistema-Shyam (joint venture between Shyam Telecom and Sistema of Russia), Videocon, Loop Telecom, Idea Cellular, Etisalat DB (joint venture between DB Realty and Etisalat of UAE) among others.
Sistema-Shyam, which offers mobile services under the MTS brand, and Unitech-Telenor joint venture that provides services under brand Uninor have made huge investments for rolling out the services across the nation.
The companies have said that they have been unfairly treated claiming that they simply followed the government process for acquiring licences.
"Sistema-Shyam is still awaiting the full text of the judgement... The company would like to state that being a law abiding organisation, it reserves the right to protect its interests by using all available judicial remedies," SSTL said in a statement.
Uninor expressed shock on the verdict and said, "We have been penalised for faults the court has found in the government process."
The new licences bundled with 2G spectrum were issued by former telecom minister A Raja in January 2008 for Rs 1,651 crore for a pan-India licence. On this, the government auditor CAG had assumed a presumptive loss of revenue of up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.
According to estimates, cancellation of these licences may free about 500 Mhz of 2G spectrum which may be auctioned by the government.