Vodafone ready to discuss new terms for telecom license extension

Telecom Lead India: Vodafone has questioned DoT’s rejection for license extension, saying it would like to discuss new terms and condition for extension.

Vodafone India’s response comes after DoT rejected the company’s application to extend its licenses in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata which are set to expire on November 2014. DoT said the permits could not be extended as the government’s policy for issuing telecom licenses had changed since 2012.

The discussion on Vodafone license will be one of the first issues to be taken by MF Farooqui, when he takes over as the new telecom secretary.

In a letter to the Department of Telecom (DoT) expressing its concern about its rejection letter dated 21 March, Vodafone said DoT’s rejection suffers from several fundamental flaws, contradictions, jurisdictional error, and misrepresents Vodafone India’s position.

Vodafone India, in its letter, has questioned DoT’s version stating that the company had never asked extension for free and instead repeatedly requested DoT to propose new terms and condition for extension.

Vodafone alleges that DoT did not provide any opportunity to discuss new terms.

READ THE EARLIER LETTER TO DOT Vodafone expresses concerns as DoT rejects licenses extension

“DoT has not even considered Vodafone’s application as contemplated in Clause 4.1 of the license. 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, and hence no mutual negotiation/discussion could take place as was required by clause 4.1 of the license,” said Vodafone in a statement.

Vodafone says the mobile service provider is still waiting for the ‘terms and conditions/offer’ to enable the company to discuss and negotiate the matter in good faith.

According to Vodafone, DoT has misinterpreted and misconstrued clause 4.1 of the license. DoT has completely ignored that Vodafone has a right of extension and the period of the license cannot be considered de hors the right of extension, it said.

National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012 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.

Vodafone is governed by provision of NTP 1999 and NTP 2012 does not have any retrospective effect and cannot take away rights promised or accrued earlier to the operator.

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