State- run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has written an application to Telecom ministry asking the government body to extend the validity of its cellular license and spectrum till 2022.
"We were given license in 2000 subject to finalization of terms and conditions by Licensor on recommendations of TRAI, and the first rollout was done in 2002. Therefore, the license's effective date should be from 2002 for a period of 20 years...that is, up to 2022," PTI quoted BSNL Chairman, Anupam Shrivastava.
He said that the request for extension pertains to all its circles. As of now, the license is valid until 2020.
The company operates its services across India except in Mumbai and Delhi circles and its mobile subscriber base is close to 10 crores with a market share of 8.7 percent.
"When BSNL took over the business of the then Departments of Telecom Services (DTS) and Telecom Operations (DTO) way back in 2000, the government gave the telecom corporation permission to provide all types of telegraph services that were being offered by the two erstwhile departments. DTS had the permit for technology neutral cellular services but had not started providing mobile operations," the report pointed out.
To recall, this year in June another State- run operator Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has also asked the ministry to extend the validity of its mobile license for Delhi and Mumbai by two more years till 2021, at no extra cost.
The cellular license of MTNL is valid until April 2019, and the reasons given by the telecom operator for seeking an extension includes a late start of services owing to a litigation and spectrum allotted nearly 2.5 years after the grant of license. This has all been recorded in a letter written by MTNL, Chairman, P. K. Purwar to the Telecom Department.