Vodafone offers Rs 4,000 crore for renewal of licences in 3 circles

Vodafone offers Rs 4,000 crore for renewal of licences in 3 circlesVodafone India on Tuesday revealed that it had offered to pay the government Rs 4,000 crore for extension of its 2G licences in three circles for another twenty years.

The India ram of the British telecommunications giant said it offered to pay the government Rs 1,700 crore for the Delhi circle, and Rs 1,700 crore and Rs 600 crore for Mumbai and Kolkata circles, respectively. In these three circles, the company's 2G licences will expire in November 2014.

Previously in December last year, the company had applied for extension of its licences, but the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had rejected the application.

Vodafone's most recent offer is just a quarter of the government's reserve price of Rs 16,000 crore set for the spectrum auctions held in March this year. However, Vodafone also said that it was open to negotiate the fee so that a mutually acceptable decision could be reached.

Commenting on Vodafone's offer, Com (First) India Director Mahesh Uppal said, "Vodafone's offer represents one more appeal from the industry to reduce the reserve price."

In a separate development, Vodafone hit back the DoT for issuing show-cause notice and imposing hefty financial penalty on it for offering 3G intra-circle roaming in seven circles where doesn't have 3G licences.

Vodafone Resident Director T. V. Ramachandran argued that intra-circle roaming, in partnership with other companies, was allowed as per clarifications given by the department before the 3G auctions. He described the DoT's stand as `arbitrary, inconsistent and unfair'.

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