Vodafone, the leading service provider on Monday said that liberalization as postulated by DoT is the freedom to use any technology; and 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,
"Technology neutrality is enshrined in our licences 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," Vodafone India's resident director TV Ramachandran said in a statement.
"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.
"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.
DoT in the guidelines for auction of spectrum has said that service providers may be allowed to convert their existing 1800 MHz spectrum (used for 2G services) to liberalised spectrum for a period of 20 years on payment of the auction-determined price.
In India, 2G GSM services are being provided using airwaves frequencies in 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz band and CDMA services using 800 Mhz band.
DoT guidelines were issued following recommendations from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ( TRAI) which said that spectrum that is purchased through auction should be liberalised which will allow to use any technology for providing wireless service using airwaves allocated to them.