It’s a set back for Vodafone India, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has rejected the extension of their mobile service licenses in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata telecom circle now this move will make Vodafone India to bid spectrum to continue its service.
As per our sources, similar letter will be sent to Loop Mobile (Mumbai) and Bharti Airtel as well. Vodafone India, Loop Mobile (Mumbai) and Airtel have also approached court against Govt of India’s plan to auction of spectrum that they currently hold in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata and has sought extension of licence using the same spectrum. The telecom operators contended that they have in their possession the 900 MHz spectrum since November 1994 and without considering their plea for renewal of licence.
Our Exclusive sources also said that DoT has asked these companies to participate in spectrum auction to retain the spectrum and continue their services.
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 that is due for renewal in 2014.
The auction of these spectrum was scheduled to start from March 11 but none of the companies applied to bid for these spectrum and hence it failed. In an official statement Vodafone India has cited
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.
Now its going to be a wait and watch game for subscribers.