Spectrum is already liberalised since 1999: Vodafone

Spectrum is already liberalised since 1999: Vodafone New Delhi: Telecom service provider Vodafone India said Monday it was concerned about the liberalisation of spectrum recently announced by the Department of Telecom (DoT), as a liberalised regime was already in place since 1999.

"Liberalisation" here signifies that spectrum in any band can be used for providing any service within the scope of respective service licenses using any technology.

"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'. This is factually incorrect," the company said in a statement.

"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," it added.

According to T.V. Ramachandran, resident director (regulatory affirs), Vodafone India, there is no difference between the DOT-announced liberalization agenda and what is already permitted under policy and license, including the National Telecom Policy 1999.

"Liberalized use or 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," Ramachandran said.

He also said Vodafone fully supports the completion of the auction process within the timelines laid down by the Supreme Court.