Vodafone India to take legal action, to ensure extension and continuity of its licenses in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata

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Vodafone India today issued a statement which states that is taking all required actions, including legal, to ensure extension and continuity of its licenses in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, as per the provisions of policy and license and repeated assurances by DoT and Ministry in the past. Vodafone has been operating in conformity to all applicable laws, guidelines and regulations and remains committed to do so.

Vodafone believes that it has right to extension as both, applicable policy (NTP 99) and license, provide for extension and continuity of licenses. The 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum allocated to Vodafone, is embedded in the license and extension of license necessarily means the extension of embedded spectrum.

The DoT, in its decision dated 15 February 2012, has already communicated that the validity of existing mobile licences may be extended for another 10 years at one time, as per the provisions of the extant licensing regime with suitable terms and conditions. Thus, the decision to extend licenses has already been taken by DoT and it is only the terms and conditions of extension that are to be decided.

Vodafone had filed extension applications for the three metro circles with DOT in December 2012. As no decision was forthcoming from DOT for several months, Vodafone filed a petition with Delhi High Court for consideration of the license extension applications. The Honourable High Court directed DOT to consider the extension applications and give Vodafone an effective hearing.

The DOT arbitrarily rejected Vodafone’s applications for extension without due consideration of the substantive points raised there in. Accordingly, Vodafone is constrained to take the legal recourse by challenging DOT’s arbitrary rejection of its extension applications as this matter can potentially cause grave inconvenience to millions of customers in these 3 circles.

Vodafone is a long term player and is willing to pay a fair and reasonable price for the extension of its licenses. It has already invested thousands of crores to build a country wide network and services millions of customers on the basis of trust that the Government as a sovereign entity, adheres to the principles of equity and fair play and acts in good faith for public good and in larger public interest.

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