Vodafone India has taken the nation's telecom ministry to court in a battle over the renewal of three of its spectrum licenses.
Vodafone's spectrum licenses in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata are due to expire in 2014. The operator had applied to have these licenses extended for a further 10 years.
But the Department of Telecom (DoT), which wants GSM operators with expiring licenses to re-acquire spectrum at auction, had rejected this request.
Now Vodafone has petitioned the Delhi High Court challenging the decision, on the grounds that the DoT “arbitrarily rejected” its application, despite an earlier court notice directing the ministry to consider extending the licenses, The Hindu reported.
The terms of the 900-MHz and 1800-MHz licenses state that they may be extended for a 10 year duration if Vodafone and the DoT mutually agree on a compensation scheme.
But the DoT asserts that it is up to its discretion whether to approve the licenses or require a re-auction of spectrum.
Vodafone has around 19.1 million mobile customers in the three circles, and has invested a combined 139 billion ($2.5 billion) rupees therein, according to the Hindu's Business Line