TDSAT Asks Vodafone to Accept New Permits Pending Final Order

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TDSAT Asks Vodafone to Accept New Permits Pending Final Order
Sectoral tribunal TDSAT on Wednesday asked country's second largest telecom operator Vodafone, which has opposed DoT's guidelines on new licences, to accept the fresh permits pending the final verdict in the matter.

Vodafone, which has already bought spectrum to continue providing services in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata service areas, says the DoT instead of signing and executing Unified Licences has declined the company's request for the deletion of "restrictive" clauses in licence pertaining to roaming.

Vodafone's current permits for these areas is set to expire on November 29.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal directed Vodafone to submit an "undertaking for obtaining the Unified Licence as may be asked for by the respondent (Department of Telecom)."

However, it also made it clear that undertaking submitted by Vodafone would be the subject to the final outcome of the petition filed by the operators before the tribunal challenging such conditions.

"It is, however, made clear that any condition of the undertaking or any omission therefrom, shall be without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties before the Tribunal and the validity of the conditions of the undertaking/omissions therefrom as also certain provisions of the Unified Licence will abide by the final outcome of the petition," a TDSAT bench headed by Chairman Aftab Alam said.

Vodafone had approached the tribunal after the Delhi High Court on November 14 asked it to approach TDSAT on the issue.

The tribunal has also issued notice to the government which was accepted by its counsel and directed it to file a reply within four weeks.

It has also granted two weeks time to Vodafone to file a rejoinder to DoT's reply and asked to list the matter on January 14 next year.

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