Telecom tribunal TDSAT on Wednesday dismissed Vodafone’s plea challenging the government’s guidelines on the liberalisation of 2G spectrum in the auctions that are to take place following the cancellation of 122 licences by the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the TDSAT headed by its chairman Justice S.B. Sinha said that Vodafone can approach it again after the guidelines have been finalised.
The Department of Telecom (DoT), through a July 3 circular, had issued guidelines that allow existing players to pay the amount discovered in spectrum auction for being able to use the airwaves for any technology for providing telecom services.
It had said the service providers may be allowed to use their existing 1800 MHz 2G spectrum towards a liberalised usage for a period of 20 years on payment of the auction-determined price.
A liberalised spectrum means the airwaves can be used for providing any service within the scope of respective service licences, using any technology.
In its petition, Vodafone had requested TDSAT to “strike down and quash the impugned decision of the DoT”.
Vodafone had said that both DoT and telecom regulator TRAI have said several times that spectrum is already technology neutral and services can be provided based on all technologies in the given band.
It had also requested TDSAT to pass an interim order to restrain DoT from giving effect to and/or implementing the impugned decision related to liberalisation of spectrum for the existing ones till the final order is passed.