Vodafone, in a letter to DoT and the EGOM, has sad that the TDSAT’s August 1 order is a re-confirmation that its licenses and spectrum are already technology neutral/ liberalized.
It said that this was evident from the fact that the Tribunal whilst narrating the facts has recorded that The basic facts of the matter is not in dispute, “ and whilst narrating these facts has noted that “the petitioners are licensees. According to them, there cannot be any doubt or dispute that the licenses granted to the petitioners are technology neutral and consequently they are entitled to use the spectrum allocated to them pursuant to or in furtherance of the license granted in their favour in any manner whatsoever and irrespective of the nature of the spectrum”, it said.
Vodafone had moved the tribunal last month against a clause in the draft guidelines issued by the telecoms department (DoT) on July 3, which mandated mobile phone companies to pay a market-determined price to convert existing airwaves they hold into liberalised spectrum for 20 years. It had urged the court to quash DoT's decision.
Last week, Reliance Communications had also moved the tribunal against the government's auction rules that mandated a CDMA player to bid for only one slot of 1.25 MHz of spectrum, as against GSM players who can bid for two such lots.
It also said that the petition has been held to be non-maintainable on the grounds that the guidelines which had been challenged had not attained finality nor were they capable of being enforcement against existing licensees. The Tribunal however gave Vodafone the liberty to approach the Tribunal again as and when the occasion arises.
It said that given the undisputed fact that they are entitled to use the spectrum allocated to them in any manner whatsoever and irrespective of the nature of the spectrum, DoT should not take any decision unilaterally amend the technology neutrality/ already liberalized spectrum, enshrined in the Agreement as this may constitute an arbitrary and illegal action. It was also stated that any further decision that is contrary to this well entrenched principle will be equally arbitrary, illegal and bad in law.