2G: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India disagree with new telecos

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2G Spectrum Scam
New Delhi, Feb 17: Incumbent telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have proposed that fresh 2G auction should not be restrained to the new companies.

"It would not be logical to limit the auction only to the spectrum which was allocated in 2008, and only amongst the parties which acquired the spectrum in 2008," said Vodafone India.

"Those existing licensees, who have already defaulted on their rollout obligations, should not be permitted to participate in the auction," said Bharti Airtel.

Union Communication Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday declared the Key policy measures as the government has decided to bring back the scam-tainted telecom sector on track.

Sibal said that in the future, airwaves will be allocated through auctions and the future licenses will be delinked from spectrum and companies must buy bandwidth at market rates.

"All companies must migrate to the unified licence, whose details will be unveiled by Trai soon," Sibal said.

"We recognise that M&A must be allowed beyond this (35%) limit too. We have taken note that Trai has recommended that telecom companies could merge their operations if the combined market share of the new entity is less than 60%. We will finalise this after further consultations with the regulator and the Competition Commission of India," he added.

Over the last few months, lots of fines and penalties were levied on the Telecom Operators deteriorating the relations between the telecom department and the incumbents.

Operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India welcomed the new rules that entered into the telecom sector from Thursday, Feb 16, "These guidelines will benefit the telecom sector immensely in the long run," said Bharti Airtel.

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