Vodafone Group Plc's application to extend its wireless service - licenses for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles has been rejected by the Department of Telecommunications. DoT has asked the telecom operator to re-bid for the spectrum in order to to continue their services. similar notice has been sent to Bharti Airtel.
The two telecom operators have decided to challenge the auction in court and have stayed away from the bidding process.
"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 licence (by Vodafone) for 18 years...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 expe-diency," said the company in a statement.
Indiatimes reports that DoT told Vodafone - under the new policy on spectrum allocation, airwaves have been delinked from licence and therefore the firm will be required to participate in the spectrum auctions, to access airwaves at market price.
Vodafone felt the DoT's actions were unfair as the withdrawal of the 900MHz spectrum is against the provisions of policy and license. The telecom operator, believes it has the rights for the extension of its license. However, Dot says Vodafone cannot claim any preemptive rights, as the government holds the sole right to allocate spectrum according to Clause 4.1 of the licence.