Vodafone, on Tuesday, hit out the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for issuing show-cause notice and imposing financial penalty on seven of its Indian companies for providing 3G intra-circle roaming in pact with other domestic telecom operators.
“At the outset, we submit that the issue of this show-cause notice is without authority of law as also bad in law,” Vodafone Resident Director T. V. Ramachandran has said in the letter to the policy making body.
DoT had issued the show-cause notice to Vodafone on May 31, calling its roaming pact with Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular in service area where the two did not win 3G spectrum in 2010 auction as violation of licence conditions.
As per the notice, the agreement signed by Vodafone with the two telecom service providers was in nature of sub-leasing of 3G spectrum, which is in violation of the licence conditions.
Vodafone has argued that intra-circle roaming is allowed as per clarifications given by DoT before the 3G auctions, and the position taken after it invested Rs.11,618 crore for 3G spectrum in nine service areas “is contradictory”.
Calling the DoT’s stand ‘arbitrary, inconsistent, unfair and unreasonable’, Vodafone said it would not only “give rise to serious disputes and challenges, but will also irreparably impact all future auctions that may be conducted by DoT as bidders would have no faith .”
Vodafone has also asked DoT to withdraw the show-cause notice, and provide explanation to its stand on the 3G roaming agreement.