While welcoming the early auction of 800MHz and 1800MHz spectrum to be carried out by 31 August 2012 as per directions of the Supreme Court, Vodafone termed the provisions of the guidelines related to ‘liberalisation of spectrum’ and ‘conversion of existing spectrum to liberalized spectrum’ as a matter of deep concern.
As per the company’s press release these provisions of the guidelines are a matter of deep concern for the industry as they wrongly presume that spectrum allocated till now is not “liberalized”. Terming it as factually incorrect the press release further stated that the liberalization as postulated by DoT is the freedom to use any technology; this is the same as “technology neutrality” which has been in place since NTP-99 and the same has been repeatedly stated, recognized, confirmed and clarified by DoT on several occasions.
TV Ramachandran, Resident Director (Regulatory Affairs), Vodafone India, stated, “There is no difference between the ‘liberalization’ agenda that the DoT has now announced and what is already permitted under policy & license, including NTP-99. Plainly put, liberalized use/technology neutrality is enshrined in our licenses and there is simply no justification to require us to pay an auction-discovered price for the permission to do what we are already entitled to.”
He pointed out that the industry had already written to the Empowered Group of Ministers through COAI, seeking that this anomaly be corrected immediately and Para 6 be dropped from the guidelines.
He expressed hope that the submissions of the COAI would be considered by the EGOM at the meeting scheduled to be held on 16 July 2012.
He reiterated, “Vodafone fully supports the completion of the auction process within the timelines laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”