Alleging “undue” delay in spectrum allocation, Vodafone India has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to “immediately allot spectrum” for the 14 telecom zones for which the company has won airwaves in the previous auction, which concluded in November 2012.
The company has already made payments for the spectrum according to rules.
The country’s second largest telecom services provider by subscriber base has also sought clarification on whether the 20-year period of the licence validity will commence from the date of actual allotment of the spectrum, which is already being delayed.
In a recent letter to DoT Secretary R Chandra-shekhar, Vodafone India said, “We call upon DoT to immediately allot us the spectrum acquired by us through auctions, for which payments have already been made and LoIs (letters of intent) were issued. The reason for the delay in the allotment of spectrum is on account of the fact that it is still being used by operators whose licences were cancelled vide the Supreme Court judgement dated February 2, 2012.”
T V Ramachandran, resident director (regulatory affairs and government relations), Vodafone India, in his letter, also pointed out that operators, such as IDEA Cellular [ Get Quote ], Videocon [ Get Quote ] and Uninor had already been allotted the same frequency in service areas of Assam, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Odisha, where Vodafone also won spectrum in the November auction.
Vodafone won spectrum in 14 circles in the auction for Rs 1,127.94 crore. "According to existing guidelines, Vodafone India has made a payment of Rs 372.22 crore under the deferred payment option route on November 22, 2012," the letter stated.
According to the notice inviting application, the issue of letter of intent shall be taken as the effective date for reckoning of the licence period. So, Vodafone has sought clarification on the 20-year licence term.
"In the context of the pending allocation of spectrum and continued use of spectrum by other licence operators, DoT may immediately clarify and confirm that the period of 20 years, for which the right to use the spectrum has been acquired by the licensee through this auction, will be reckoned from the date of actual allotment of the said spectrum," according to the Vodafone letter.