Vodafone India has sought extension of its 900 MHz operating licences for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles by next 10 years.
Vodafone India has sought extension of its 900MHz operating licences for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles by next 10 years. The telecom operator has invoked clause 4.1 of the licence agreement, which says "the licensor may extend, if deemed expedient, the period of licencee by 10 years at one time, upon request of the licencee, if made during 19th year of the licence period on terms mutually agreed."
In separate letters seeking licence extension for three circles to Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar, Vodafone said, "the 19th year of licence has commenced on November 29, 2012 for Mumbai circle and Novermber 30, 2012 for Delhi and Kolkata circles ... we request you to extend the period of our licence ...on terms to be mutually agreed."
Vodafone's request to extend the licence duration comes despite the government announcement to conduct re-auction of the licences after the current ones expire in November 2014. The Times of India reports “the decision of the licensor shall be final in regard to the grant of extension”.
It's notable the government is planning to auction the spectrum in 900MHz band for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles in this financial. The government hasn't yet announced the final date for auction. The government has already allowed the GSM operators to retain 2.5 MHz in each circle after the expiry of licence. Vodafone has about 24MHz spectrum in 900MHz in these circles.
"We respectfully submit that in our view, extension of licence period is continuation of the already set up network, including continuation of existing spectrum, which is intrinsic to our licence and is being used for providing service to the customers under the licence," said the telecom operators adding for the purposes of licence extension that "there can be no change in the fundamental structure of the license."
Source: Times of India