India’s Supreme Court told the country’s government to investigate ways to recover historical adjusted gross revenue (AGR) fees from bankrupt mobile operators, Hindustan Times reported, raising the possibility of selling any remaining spectrum to raise the cash.
The court cited defunct operators Aircel, which called it quits in 2018; Videocon Communications, which ceased operations in 2016; and Reliance Communications (RCom), still undergoing bankruptcy proceedings.
RCom’s mobile assets are currently in the process of being sold-off and some of its subsidiaries in other sectors are still operational. It announced it would quit the mobile market in 2017 and, after failing to sell assets to rival Reliance Jio, began the bankruptcy process in 2019.
The Supreme Court request was made as part of an ongoing hearing on the payment of AGR by operators, a case now adjourned until 14 August.
AGR demands have put significant financial strains on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, the latter of which is liable for historical fees from both constituent operators Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have each slammed the demands and appealed for more time to raise the cash to cover the fees.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back