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Vodafone challenges DoT’s move to auction 900 MHz spectrum


Vodafone, one of the largest telecom-service providers in the world has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, challenging DoT’s (Department of Telecommunication) move to auction 900 MHz spectrum. Reportedly, DoT has proceeded forward for the auction even when Vodafone’s applications to extend its license terms are still pending with the department. 

In last December, Vodafone had applied for extending its license period in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata regions, which are scheduled to get renewed in November 2014. But such steps of DoT to withdraw 900MHz spectrum in the concerned circles, have been shouted illegal and against agreement terms by Vodafone. Vodafone demands both the policy and licence apt for continuity of the said service.

Apart, Vodafone defines the issues against public interest and claims that it has invested almost Rs 50,000 crore in India and has been providing quality and reasonable service to almost 1.5 million subscribers across the country. And definitely, the second phase action spectrum is scheduled to be held in March, in which the Government intends to put the 900MHz band in the three major circles, is disrupting.

However, the company demands renewal of its licences for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles devoid of any auction process. The previous month, it had also shouted for allotment of airwaves without bidding. On the other hand, the New Telecom Policy (NTP 2012) encompasses the regulation to issue the spectrum at market price and through auction.

The SC had also previously ordered to allot all the natural resources (which are to be used for commercial purposes) through action. In such circumstances, the demand of Vodafone to extend the licences through mutual agreement obviously seems bit absurd. Vodafone India upholds “extension of license should be on mutually agreed terms”, it said in a statement.

Now, it’s to be seen if the Government accepts the terms and conditions put by Vodafone for allotting its licences, following which it will be decided if Vodafone is provided with the chance to extend its licence tern in the said regions. 

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