The CAG asked the Department of Telecom to provide the roll-out status of the broadband wireless access services as the 4G spectrum was allotted four and half years ago. The successful bidders of the 4G spectrum were given the time of five years by July, 2015.
As reported by PTI, CAG last week wrote to DoT asking the roll-out status of network by the successful bidders, which include Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Qualcomm (acquired by Bharti), Tikona, Infotel (now Reliance Jio Infocomm) and Augere. According to the auction conditions, the telcos have to deliver 90 percent coverage in metro area, if they has spectrum there. Along with this, they have to provide 50 percent coverage in the rural area within five years. If a service provider fails to meet roll-out conditions, then spectrum will be taken back.
The six companies who won the BWA spectrum can be used for 4G services, in 2010. The government earned Rs 35,000 crore through the auction of this spectrum. All the companies were allotted the spectrum in 2010 except Qualcomm, which got the spectrum in 2012. However, Airtel acquired subsidiaries of Qualcomm in 2013 and purchased the spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana, and Kerala.
Presently, only Airtel and Aircel have partially launched the services using BWA spectrum. On the other hand, Infotel and Reliance Jio are the only two companies, who hold pan-India BWA spectrum but it is yet to launch its services. Reliance Jio has earlier announced that the company will roll out its 4G services in 2015, covering 5,000 towns and cities and accounting for over 90% of urban India and over 215,000 villages.