Vodafone India: 2G auction guidelines 'illegal, discriminatory'

Summary:Operator seeks withdrawal of new spectrum auction guidelines, which it says are "illegal, discriminatory, and benefiting one set of players."

Vodafone India is seeking the withdrawal of the new 2G spectrum auction guidelines, believing them to be "illegal, discriminatory, and benefiting one set of players."

Vodafone India is considering "all possible remedies, including legal recourse" if the situation is not resolved.
Vodafone India is considering "all possible remedies, including legal recourse" if the situation is not resolved.

A Times of India report on Wednesday said that the operator complained had that the guidelines fixed the reserve price of 900MHz at three times the price of 800MHz, even though the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had recommended setting similar prices for both bands.

The report added that Vodafone wrote to the Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar, saying: "Fixing reserve price of 800MHz band at comparatively low levels benefits a certain set of telecom operators."

The operator noted that the auction of 900MHz spectrum included spectrum currently used by the company for Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata circles, so it should not be put out for auction.

According to Indian newspaper The Hindu, Vodafone India is considering "all possible remedies, including legal recourse" if the situation is not resolved.

However, The Hindu noted that the government was unmoved. Chandrashekhar said: "The government does not believe there is any legal infirmity in the auction guidelines, especially since the decision to hold auctions has emanated from a court direction in the first place."

In December 2012, Vodafone applied to extend its 900MHz bandwidth operating license in three telecom zones by another 10 years, despite the Indian government's intention to re-auction the spectrum once the licenses expire.

Topics: Telcos, Government : Asia, India, Networking

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The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate mas... Full Bio

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