Do not see much impact on customers: Trai

New Delhi: Telecom regulator Trai today said there will not be much impact on customers due to cancellation of 122 2G licenses of eight companies, as around 95 per cent of total subscribers belong to operators which got licences before January 2008.

"The Supreme Court judgement will be implemented. Customers will not be impacted from the cancellation of licences as around 95 per cent market share is of those who got licences before January 2008," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman J S Sarma told reporters here.

He added that subscribers have the option to port out using mobile number portability. "Subscribers have option to port out through MNP. We will instruct operators to inform their subscribers and come out with advertisement," Sarma said. On chances of tariff hike due to expected high price of spectrum, Sarma said that Trai is alert and will keep a watch on the situation.

The companies that are set to lose on account of the cancellation of the licences are: Uninor (joint venture between Unitech and Telenor of Norway), Loop Telecom, Sistema Shyam (joint venture between Shyam and Sistema of Russia), Etisalat DB (joint venture between Swan and Etisalat of UAE), S Tel, Videocon, Tatas and Idea. With cancellation of these licences, over 500 Mhz spectrum will be available for auction.

Sarma said that Trai has already recommended auction of spectrum for future allocation for new licences under Unified Licensing regime and working of migration path for existing licence. Under new licensing regime, telecom players will have to pay price of spectrum determined through auction.

"In future all licence will be Unified Licences. This has been discussed by Telecom Commission as well. It is at advance stage of consultation in the government. Whosoever will hold UL can take spectrum. We are also contemplating about migration of existing licence to UL. All these issues will be discussed and decided shortly," Sarma said. When asked whether incumbent players will be allowed to participate in the proposed auction, he said that Trai is working on it and but it should be open for all.

"It would not be proper to make comments at this stage but by and large it will be available for people in general." he added. Sarma said that Trai is yet to study the judgement and details can be given only after the regulator completes the study of court verdict. "I understand that if Supreme Court has given four month time then our effort will to do it in within four months," Sarma said.