Vodafone India said it remained committed to the Indian telecom market and would invest another $ 1 billion in 2013-14.

“We are committed and will invest another $ 1 billion in India in FY 14 for capacity building,” Vodafone India MD & CEO Marten Pieters said on the sidelines of the M-Pesa launch here.

He, however, hinted that investments in India might not continue if the Vodafone Group did not get returns from its investments.

Vodafone Group has invested Rs 81,000 crore in acquisition and another Rs 55,000 crore of capex in the past six years, but the parent did not get back adequate money as returns, Pieters said. “Is this fair?” he asked.

Asked about the 2G spectrum issue, Pieters said, “We are ready to pay market related price.”

He said the price for the 900MHz should be benchmarked to 1800MHz for valuation.

On auction, he said, “We favour auction of unused spectrum, but not for the spectrum which is already in use for existing operations.”

DoT had reportedly declined to extend the licenses for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata service areas which was due to expire in 2014.

Asked what solutions the company wanted, Pieters said, “We are not unwilling to talk with the government.”

He said that the government should not differentiate between 800MHz (CDMA)and 900MHz spectrum pricing and offer a level playing ground.

Pieters also ruled out possibility of Vodafone India IPO unless uncertainties for the company ended.

“We all need a more favourable environment,” he said. Reacting to court observations on sharing of 3G spectrum, he said “We think we are entitled to this roaming pact, though the government clearly thinks that we are not. The matter is in court. So, lets see how it unfolds.”

Vodafone said it was also not in favour on rolling out 4G service in India soon.

“We took a position and it’s too early for 4-G. 4G is a natural transition for 3G. It also depends on the penetration of smart phones and spectrum allocation,” Pieters said.

Source: – PTI

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