Vodafone challenges spectrum auction

Telecom operater Vodafone moved the Delhi High Court on Wednesday challenging the Department of Telecom’s (DoT) move to auction its 900MHz spectrum citing that its application for licence extension is pending with the department.

In a statement, it said: “This action of DoT to arbitrarily withdraw the 900MHz spectrum is against the provisions of policy and licence. Vodafone believes that it is entitled to a fair and reasonable extension of its licence as per mutually agreeable terms.”

Last December, Vodafone had sought the extension of its licence period for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles that are up for renewal in November 2014. It sought the extension under clause 4.1 of the licence agreement under which the government can extend the period of licence by 10 years at a time if the request is made by the operator during the 19th year of the licence period.

The move comes even as the second round of spectrum sale is slated to be held on March 11, when the government will auction unsold GSM spectrum in 1800MHz band for Karnataka, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mumbai and for spectrum in 900MHz band in metro service areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

The decision was taken on December 13, 2012, by the Union Cabinet. Vodafone has around 24 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz band in these three circles.

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