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Vodafone India to bid spectrum, extension of licenses rejected

29 March 2013 576 views No Comment

The Department of Telecom has rejected the extension of service licenses of Vodafone in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Vodafone will now have to bid spectrum to continue its services.

Loop Mobile (Mumbai) and Bharti Airtel are feared to get the same orders. Vodafone, Loop Mobile and Airtel have contacted the court too. They have registered their complaint against Government of India who plans to auction the spectrum that is held by these companies.

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Vodafone, Loop Mobile and Airtel have requested the court to extend their licenses using the same spectrum in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. These operators assert that they possess 900 MHz spectrum since November 2004 and their plea should be considered.

The Department of Telecom has permitted these companies to continue their services and to participate in spectrum auction (to retain spectrum).

The spectrum identified for auction in 900 MHz includes 8 MHz held by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India (each in Delhi circle), 8 MHz each of Loop Mobile and Vodafone India (in Mumbai and in Kolkata), 6.2 MHz spectrum of Bharti Airtel, 7.8 MHz of Vodafone which is going to renew in 2014.

The auction was planned to begin from 11th March this year. As no company applied to bid this spectrum, it failed.

“Vodafone is deeply disappointed with the summary rejection of its request for extension of its licenses in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata service areas by DoT. This decision is against the interests of our several million customers in these cities/circles. In addition, there appears to be no acknowledgment by DoT of the full and faithful operation of the license for 18 years – for being a pioneer and entering the market when there was no concept of mobile telephony in India, for investing tens of thousands of crores in setting up a state of the art network, for serving millions of subscribers and for contributing to the national tele-density objectives, for being the second largest rural mobile service provider in India. Vodafone has also been consistently contributing several crores in revenues to the national exchequer. Clearly, in DoT’s opinion, these aspects are not important for determining expediency.”- Vodafone India.

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