Vodafone requests access for all to upcoming 2G spectrum auction

Telecom operator Vodafone India has asked the telecom regulator not to prevent it, and other big operators, from bidding in the upcoming auctions for spectrum freed up by the recent cancellation of licenses by the Supreme Court.

Vodafone, in its statement to the telecom regulator, the TRAI, said any move to restrict the auction to only those players who lost their licenses and spectrum due to the judgement will defeat the purpose.

“All operators and potential new entrants should be allowed to enter the auction. This will ensure the most efficient allocation of the spectrum and is necessary to derive a fair market price.

“It would not be logical to restrict the auction only to the spectrum which was allocated in 2008, and only to the parties which acquired the spectrum in 2008,” it said in its submission.

“..the auction should be open to existing operators, who have been deprived of further spectrum since 2006 while adding hundreds of millions of new mobile users.

“If auction is not open to all eligible players, then such auction may deprive more worthy or more efficient player or players who give more value to spectrum to even participate leading to inefficiencies in its utilization which will be against the overall public good… and any such rules will block the deployment of advanced mobile data networks and deter the coverage of mobile networks,” it said.

It also urged the government to give as much spectrum as possible to the operators, to reduce the number of towers they need to put up. A doubling of spectrum cuts the number of towers required by half.

“More towers result in increased use of diesel /power to run the sites, which leads to higher energy consumption. Due to the sub-optimal spectrum allocations, the diesel consumption has gone up by millions of tonnes per year.

“This waste of energy is avoidable and government’s objective of green telecom can be met in a substantial manner if optimal spectrum allocations are ensured,” it said.

Kapil Sibal had outlined, for the second time, the government’s new telecom policy, leaving the finer details to the telecom regulator to work out.