New Delhi: Telenor was amongst the companies which in 2008 had bid for the tainted 2G auctions back then, for which it dished out Rs 1,658 crores. Now that the government is planning to hold a fresh around of auction after cancelling all licenses from that period, it is said that Telenor might not avail the Rs 1,658 crores deduction from their auction bid should they participate this time around. Telenor-owned Telewings, which has won spectrum in 6 telecom circles, is a different company from Uninor and therefore it is not eligible to get the benefit of adjusting the licence fee that the earlier JV Unitech Wireless paid for permits in 2008, sources said.
According to a senior government official, "Telewings is a different company. It is not eligible (for refund)." Telenor had purchased a majority stake in Uninor, the JV with its Indian partner Unitech, whose flagship company Unitech Wireless had the licenses issued to them. The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) had decided that the prices paid then would adjusted against the prices they pay for the new auction, but it seems Telenor is not going to avail that discount.
Uninor's 22 earlier licences were among the 122 cancelled by the apex court in the 2G spectrum allocation case. The adjustment has to be made in the final price that companies have to pay for spectrum they have won in auction ended on November 14. Telenor parted ways with Unitech Wireless and bid in the auction through a new entity - Telewings Communications. It has to pay Rs 4,018.28 crore for spectrum in six circles - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP east and UP west.
(With agency inputs)