India's Supreme Court has permitted GSM operators Sistema Shyam and Telenor to continue operations till 11 March 2013, the date scheduled for the next hearing. The next round of spectrum auction is expected to start by this time.
This gives the players another month to continue services in areas which were started after getting licences in 2008.
The court also suggested that the licences of the telcom companies that don't participate in the March auction may not be further extended. The new telecom players, who had lost their licences following the 2G spectrum scam, were set to be cancelled on 4 February.
The apex court was scheduled to hear the case on 4 February but changed the date to 11 March 2013. The Supreme Court did not specify any reasons.
A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan, while allowing the extension in January, asked the Centre to spell out the price to be charged for continuing with their service after cancellation of the licences last year.
Both the companies declined to comment.