GSM operator Vodafone India, a subsidiary of UK-based Vodafone Group, has questioned the Department of Telecommunications' rejection of its license extension and blamed country's telecom licensor of acting against public interest by not extending its licences beyond 2014.
Vodafone has requested DoT to withdraw its rejection letter as this would also result in disruption of services across Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, the three major telecom circles in the country.
The incumbent operator had received licences in 1994 with a 20-year-tenure in these circles, which expire in November 2014.
In March, DoT had rejected Vodafone India, application to renew licences in these circles. This means that the company would have to participate in the next spectrum auction to continue operations interrupted.
"The rejection of application shows that DoT has acted against public interest as it will lead to disenfranchising 50-60 per cent of the market leading to disruption of services," Vodafone India said in its March 21 letter to the DoT.
In the letter, Vodafone India says that DoT's rejection suffers from several fundamental flaws, contradictions, jurisdictional error, and completely misrepresents its, and renders the said rejection legally unsustainable.
The company said it had never asked extension for free and instead repeatedly requested DoT to propose new terms and condition for extension.
''However no such terms were provided to Vodafone despite several requests, demonstrating that DoT has not even considered Vodafone's application… Further, the letter underlines that DoT has wrongly stated that Vodafone has been insisting on same terms and conditions, while Vodafone has been asking DoT to provide terms for extension for consideration and mutual negotiation/discussion, which till date has not been provided to the company.
The letter reiterates that Vodafone is still waiting for the terms and conditions to enable the company to discuss and negotiate the matter in good faith.
It also said that DoT has seriously misinterpreted National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012 and wrongly applied provisions of NTP stating that spectrum and licenses are already de-linked.
''However, as per the policy, NTP and spectrum de-linking are only for future licenses and suitable measures would be taken to encourage existing service providers to migrate to a new regime,'' it said.