Vodafone and Telenor have upped the ante in the spectrum pricing and auction guidelines issue, seeking a 50-per cent cut in the prices of the airwaves that are coming up for auction. The operators' body, Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI), has also sought halving of spectrum reserve price.
Vodafone India Ltd (VIL), a subsidiary of the U.K.-based Vodafone Group Plc, has requested withdrawal of spectrum auction guidelines, terming them as "illegal, discriminatory and benefiting one set of players."
The GSM operator also alleged that fixing the reserve price of 800 MHz band (currently used by CDMA operators, but can be used for GSM operations also) at comparatively low levels benefits a certain set of telecom operators.
In a letter to the department of telecommunications (DoT), Vodafone India has also sought a revision of auction guidelines for 900 and 1800 MHz (GSM bands). The country has issued guidelines for spectrum auctions on 22 January 2013.
In its letter, addressed to the telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar, the GSM operator said that the guidelines are in ''contravention of the mutual agreement contract between parties and therefore illegal''.
It said the guidelines are in contravention to the existing telecom licence rules that say the operators would get an extension of their telecom licences based on ''mutually agreed terms.''