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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Vodafone contests DoT’s licence ruling

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 01, 2013
First Published: 14:19 IST(1/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:59 IST(2/4/2013)

Vodafone India Ltd (VIL) on Monday claimed it is not governed by the new telecom policy (NTP 2012) and its licences along with spectrum should be extended without going through the bidding process.

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Department of telecommunications (DoT) recently rejected its plea to extend its existing licences on the grounds that under the NTP 2012, licences are delinked with spectrum. All the operators will have to pay market price for airwaves determined through auction.

“You have wrongly sought to apply the provisions of NTP-2012 to us and hold that the spectrum and licences are already delinked,” said a letter written by TV Ramachandran, resident director (regulatory affairs and government relations) of VIL, to DoT.

“NTP does not have any retrospective/retroactive effect and can not in any event take away rights which were promised or which have already accrued to us. It is reiterated that we continue to be governed by the provisions of NTP-1999.”

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VIL also claimed that though DoT rejected its application on the ground that it has not come to settle “new” terms and conditions, it had no terms and conditions to offer to Vodafone.

“While you state that consideration for extension is subject to new terms and conditions, no such terms have been provided, thus demonstrating that DoT has not even considered as contemplated in Clause 4.1 of our licence...,” the latter said.

VIL also said that DoT “misinterpreted and misconstrued Clause 4.1” of its licence by stating that its licences are fixed for a fixed period of 20 years.

“..on one hand you have stated in the letter that spectrum can also be allocated through market related process but on the other hand stated that unless we participate in the auction and get the bid confirmed, we would not be entitled to the spectrum,” it said.

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