Vodafone India has told the Department of Telecom that the rules for the next round of spectrum auction were coercive in nature.

The company said any policy that assures extension of licence period only if operators participate in auctions was legally untenable.

The Government had earlier decided that operators whose licences are set to expire in 2014 will have to surrender spectrum in the 900 Mhz band and buy it back though the auction.

Under the new plan, spectrum in both 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz bands will be put up for auction before March in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Karnataka. Vodafone’s licences in Delhi and Mumbai are set to expire in 2014.

“Coerced participation in auction for assurance of any spectrum at extension of licence period, is anathema both to the very concept of auction as well as the provision for extension and mutual agreement of terms contained in the licence,” Vodafone India said in a letter to DoT.

Vodafone India has sought extensions for its three telecom licences that expire in November 2014, stating it as expedient and in public interest.

The GSM operator is seeking an additional 10-year validity for the three telecom circles – Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata – that were granted in 1994, with 20-year tenures.

(This article was published on December 23, 2012)
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