Vodafone: It never asks for licence extension for free
By insightVAS - Mon Apr 01, 4:42 pm
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The Britain based telecom company, Vodafone stated that the company has never asked for extension of its licences for free. Its licenses in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata will expire in 2014. Expressing disappointment and concern over the rejection of its March 21 letter for the extension of license in the three circles, the company said that it repeatedly requested Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to propose new terms and condition and fair price for extension which were never provided to it.
“No such terms were provided to Vodafone despite several requests, demonstrating that DoT has not even considered Vodafone’s application as contemplated in Clause 4.1 of the license” it said I a fresh letter.
Last week the DoT conveyed to Vodafone and Loop Telecom that their licences cannot be automatically extended and they need participate in the auction to bid for airwaves and to continue their services. A similar letter will be sent to Bharti Airtel.
As per the New Telecom Policy (NTP 2012), the spectrum has to be issued at a market price and through auction. Vodafone wants that the government should extend the licences without going through the auction process.
It its fresh letter Vodafone said that DoT’s rejection suffers from several fundamental flaws, contradictions, jurisdictional error, and completely misrepresents Vodafone India’s position, and renders the said rejection legally unsustainable.
It said that no opportunity was provided to the company as contemplated under the license and as directed by the the High Court in its direction dated 22nd February.
“The letter reiterates that Vodafone is still waiting for the ‘terms and conditions/offer’ to enable the company to discuss and negotiate the matter in good faith”, it said. “Since the same spectrum is already being used expeditiously and extensively in its networks, it cannot be put out for auction, in the manner stated in the guidelines, which implies forcible withdrawal of spectrum from the existing service providers”, it added.
In its March 21 letter the company had said that that guidelines have arbitrarily fixed reserve price for 900 MHz and 1800 MHz at levels exorbitantly higher than international benchmarks. In a letter sent on 17th September 2012, it had quoted a decision by UK telecom regulator OFCOM, which had proposed nil spectrum charges for first 20 years for 4G services in UK.
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