India's Department of Telecommunications today awarded the coveted unified access licence to Idea Cellular for seven circles - Assam, West Bengal, Kolkata, Northeast, Tamil Nadu, Jammu & Kashmir, and Odisha.
The company had applied for licences in these circles after it emerged as the second biggest buyer in the November 2012 spectrum auction. The company won spectrum for all the seven circles where its licences were cancelled.
Its licence in Bihar circle was unaffected by the Supreme Court order in 2011 cancelling 122 telecom permits in the 2G scam.
Idea had earlier refused to sign the unified licence agreement that barred operators from entering into a 3G intra-circle roaming pact. The DoT had decreed that it was illegal for telecom operators to sell 3G services in areas where they do not have spectrum.
Telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular had contested the DoT's point and the matter is now sub-judice.
However, the DoT and Idea Cellular later agreed to follow the court order with respect to implementation of norms related to 3G roaming pacts in new licences, according to an Economic Times report.
"We have applied for seven circles and got the unified licence for all," a source at Idea Cellular told the paper, confirming the development.