Uninor approaches SC; wants 2G auction in four months

Uninor approaches SC; wants 2G auction in four months New Delhi: Telecom operator Uninor Wednesday said it has filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking its direction to the government to conclude the 2G auction by June 2 in line with the order of the apex court.

"Our licences are going to be quashed on June 2 and if that timeline is not extended, then we are out of business without having a chance to get a new licence," Uninor MD Sigve Brekke told reporters here.

The Supreme Court had, on February 2, cancelled 122 telecom licences, including 22 of Uninor, a joint venture between Telenor of Norway and domestic realty player Unitech. Telenor has a majority stake in the joint venture.

While the apex court had asked the government to conduct auction for 2G spectrum within four months, Department of Telecom has expressed inability to complete the process within the timeline. Instead, it has sought 400 days to complete the process.

"What we are saying in our application in the Supreme Court is that we don't think 400 days are needed...it is possible to conduct the auction in four months... by following the 3G rules," Brekke said.

He said Uninor would be out of business if the auctions are not conducted by June 2.

Brekke said the Norwegian company is committed to stay in India. However, it is looking for a new partner for the Indian joint venture, separating from Unitech.

"The reason why we continue investing in the business, continue to incur losses in the business, continue to increase our subscriber base is that we have a long term intention," he said.

Without naming Brekke also blamed business rivals of poaching their customers.

"Competitors are using unethical behaviour trying to kill us in the market. It's sad to see what actually is happening on the ground," he added.

He said that for every passing day, it is becoming difficult to do business as there is no clarity on policy.

The company has also made a representation to the regulator TRAI, pressing for early completion of the 2G auction. It said the auction can be conducted using the format which was used for 3G auctions in 2010.

The 2G auction should be conducted in multi-stages and in the first stage, a minimum of two blocks per circle of 6.2 Mhz each should be auctioned.

Uninor is also agreeable to 3G reserve price as the floor price for 2G auction but has demanded deferred payment option.

PTI