Vodafone India has sought extensions of its licenses in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata which is expiring in November 2014. The incumbent GSM operator had received licences in 1994 with 20-year tenures. It has 24 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz band, which is the best quality spectrum, across these circles.
In its letter to the Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar, Vodafone sought the extension under clause 4.1 of the licence agreement. Under the agreement, the government can extend the period of licence by 10 years at one time if the request is made the operator during the 19th year of the licence period.
In addition to other licence conditions remaining same, Vodafone has asked for continuation of existing spectrum too.
“The 19th year of licence has commenced on 29.11.2012 for Mumbai,” Vodafone said in its letter, adding, “We request you to extend the period of our licence …On terms to be mutually agreed”.
Similar letters were sent for the other two circles, which completed the 19th year on November 30, 2012. ”The decision of the licensor shall be final in regard to the grant of extension,” it said.
The government is working on conducting auction of spectrum in 900 MHz band for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles during this financial year, but it is yet to decide on the final date for auction.