Vodafone which happens to be India’s second largest telecom operator, won a chunk of spectrum in the 1800MHz band in February of this year; but allocation of the same has yet to be taken advantage of by the company. As a result, the carrier has asked the government for immediate allotment of the airwaves and has even sought extension of the spectrum’s validity by another six months.
Vodafone India is in a crunch situation right now as its licenses in several service areas across India are set to expire soon, leaving it in dire need of new spectrum. The February 2014 auction’s payments were apparently completed by the network operator in March itself. In spite of this, the radio waves still haven’t been granted to the company.
This has resulted in Vodafone India formally requesting DoT and TRAI for immediate allotment of the 1800MHz spectrum that has been won by it in auctions. Through a media advisory note, the telecom carrier has also made it clear that just 7 more weeks are remaining for the presently deployed spectrum in the 900MHz band to be replaced by new 900MHz spectrum won in auctions.
As far as Vodafone India is concerned, its licenses in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata are all set to expire this November. Moreover, Airtel too will be losing its possession of Delhi and Kolkata licenses during the same month.
According to Business Today, the allocations have not been made despite several reminders having been given to the government by Vodafone. The company’s group chief, Vittorio Colao, as well as its India unit managing director and chief executive officer, Marten Pieters, recently met Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss the telecom spectrum issue.