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Vodafone India's licences cannot be extended: DOT news
23 March 2013

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the telecoms licensor in the country, has informed Vodafone India that its licences cannot be extended. The company, a subsidiary of the UK-based Vodafone, will now have to bid for spectrum to continue their services.

"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,'' the company said in a statement.

The company said it has invested tens of thousands of crores in network and had contributed to the national tele-density objectives for being the second largest rural mobile service provider in India.

''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 expediency,'' it added.

the government has announced that it will conduct third round of auction but details of this auction have not been announced yet.

In December 2012 Vodafone India had sought extensions for its three telecom licenses Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata expiring in November 2014. The incumbent GSM operator had received licences in 1994 with 20-year tenures. It has 24 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz band, which is the best quality spectrum, across these circles.

In February, the company had moved Delhi High Court challenging DoT's decision to auction the 900 MHz spectrum that it holds. The Mumbai-based company, 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.

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Vodafone India's licences cannot be extended: DOT