Company in Indian spectrum satellite scam claims clearances

Indian government has said it has considered terminating the spectrum agreement

Devas Multimedia, the company at the center of a controversy over satellite spectrum allocation, said on Thursday that it has a legally binding agreement with Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), raising the possibility that the company may sue if the government goes ahead and terminates the agreement.

Devas, a startup in Bangalore, aims to set up a satellite network for delivering applications like e-governance and remote connectivity using S-Band spectrum from Indian satellites. Its investors include Deutsche Telekom.

After criticism in the local media and from opposition political parties this week over the 2005 agreement, officials from the Department of Space told reporters on Tuesday that it had in fact considered terminating the agreement last July, but had not done so because of the complexities involved.

The officials of the Department of Space said that it was decided not to lease spectrum to Devas as new strategic and social requirements had emerged for the spectrum.

The government on Wednesday constituted a committee to review the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the agreement between Devas and Antrix, and to also look into the adequacy of the approval processes for the agreement. The committee is to submit its report to Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, who holds the space portfolio, within one month.

S. Satish, a spokesman for ISRO said on Thursday that if a decision is finally taken to cancel the agreement, Devas will be compensated.

Devas said in its statement, that it had proceeded with the project after the required consents and approvals were obtained from government agencies including the Space Commission and the Union Cabinet, and the same was confirmed to it by Antrix in February, 2006. Devas also received approvals for foreign direct investment from India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board and is in full compliance with government regulations, the company said.

Having fulfilled all its obligations with regard to the 2005 agreement, Devas said it now awaits the delivery of the contracted space segment capacity, which has been delayed by more than two years.

The 2005 agreement was criticized because the Indian government had not gone in for a competitive bidding while allotting scarce satellite spectrum.

The government is already facing criticism for having allotted 2G spectrum to mobile operators in 2008 at basement prices, rather than through an auction.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has so far arrested a former telecommunications minister, two civil servants, and the vice-chairman of Etisalat’s Indian joint venture in its investigations into the alleged 2G scam. The U.A.E. operator said it bought a stake in the Indian company after the licenses were acquired by local promoters.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationtelecommunicationtelephonysatelliteEtisalatIndian Space Research OrganizationDevas MultimediaAntrix

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?