Vodafone moves Delhi High Court on 900 MHz spectrum

By February 20th, 2013 AT 2:09 PM

Vodafone India, has moved the Delhi High Court challenging the Department of Telecommunications’ decision to auction the 900 MHz spectrum that is held by the GSM operator. Vodafone India in its petition, said the licensor’s move comes at a time when its applications for licence extension are pending.

“Vodafone believes that it is entitled to a fair and reasonable extension of its license as per mutually agreeable terms. Both the policy and license provide for continuity and this action of DoT to arbitrarily withdraw the 900MHz spectrum is not only against the provisions of policy and license but also disruptive and against public interest,” the company said in a statement.

The company has invested more than Rs 50,000 crore in India, it said. “Vodafone remains committed to providing quality and affordable telecom solutions to its almost 150 million customers across the country while contributing thousands of crores to national exchequer in the form of license fee, spectrum charges, direct and indirect taxes among others,” the statement said.

The 900MHz spectrum forms the foundation of the network and on which Vodafone has built its telecommunication networks and infrastructure. The company has been providing telecom services using this spectrum over the 18 years to more than 18.7 million subscribers.

The Department of Telecommunications was expecting to raise about Rs 20,000 crore from the second round of 1,800 MHz and 900 MHz band spectrum auction expected in this financial year, even though the date for the auction is yet to be announced.

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Arjun Aggarwal
Arjun Aggarwal

The GoI is doing the right thing in this case. What Vodafone is saying is that they should get spectrum for free without partcipating in the upcoming auction of 900 MHz for Delhi and Kolkata. Their license expires in 2014 for these circles. Why should they get spectrum for free ?


What Vodafone means is it should get an extension with appropriate pay to the government instead of putting its spectrum on auction. This can be clearly understood when vodafone states “it is entitled to a fair and reasonable extension of its license as per mutually agreeable terms” . There is no mention of free extension!

Arjun Aggarwal
Arjun Aggarwal

It amounts to the same thing. Vodafone fears that if the spectrum is put on auction, other companies might bid too, driving the price upwards for lucrative circles like Delhi & Kolkata. And this will be unlike November 2012 when the cartel of Airtel-Vodafone-Idea ensured that the price did not go beyond the base price. And 900 MHz spectrum is as it is priced much higher than 1800 MHz. So Vodafone basically wants to get something for peanuts that should actually cost a fortune. And such behaviour is what the SC order of 02Feb2012 tried to reverse. So this request/case… Read more »

deepak das
deepak das

Indian govrnment useless…..

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