Vodafone India has formally requested immediate release of the 1800MHz spectrum which it had won during the February auctions. The GSM operator wants to replace existing spectrum, which is in full operational use, across Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata service areas.
The Mumbai-based company has moved the licensor, Department of Telecommunications (DOT) and regulator the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for immediate release of spectrum.
''With only 7 weeks left when, as per Dot, the presently deployed spectrum in 900MHz is to be replaced by 900MHz won in auctions. Hence, timely earmarking of the spectrum won is essential for the company to replace existing spectrum, which is in full operational use in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata service areas,'' it said in a media advisory.
In places like Delhi, the quantum of 900MHz will in fact get reduced from 8MHz to 5MHz. Further, in all circle, the frequency spots for 900MHz and 1800MHz are changing. In such a scenario it is imperative to deploy the 1800MHz spectrum won in auctions first which will then enable release of the existing 900MHz. Despite several reminders, the spectrum has not been earmarked till now, it added.
Under the current situation, with very little time left and spectrum in 1800MHz not yet earmarked, any such replacement of 900MHz on the prescribed date is bound to considerably impact services despite best efforts by the company even on 24X7 basis. The extensive robust network of Vodafone India has thousands of sites, IBS and repeaters.
This changeover under normal circumstances could take at least 6 months after the earmarking of frequencies, it added.