India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sent notices to Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Adani Data Networks, asking for an explanation as to why both have failed to meet the minimum rollout obligations stipulated on 5G licenses.

Both operators could be fined if the DoT deems the explanation unacceptable, reports Economic Times.

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ET reports that Vi could have to pay Rs 14 crore ($1.6 million) in fines, while Adani Data Networks might have to shell out Rs 5-6 crore ($0.5-0.7m).

Both companies have been served notices but are yet to respond, according to the report.

5G services were launched by the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2022.

Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel were quick to launch the service, with Bharti hitting one million 5G subscribers within a month of launch.

However, cash-strapped Vi has constantly delayed its 5G launch.

In August, officials at the company confirmed that the operator would not meet its rollout obligations in 15 of the 17 circles of the spectrum it purchased last year.

The company has faced difficulty for some time, with the debt-laden operator struggling to pay its dues with its vendor partners after it was saved from the brink of collapse by the Indian government last year, which acquired a 35.8 percent stake in the company.

As for Adani, the operator has also missed its obligations so far. The telco acquired 5G spectrum for private network deployment in several sectors including ports and logistics.