Telecom majors Vodafone and Bharti Airtel have applied for new telecom permits - Unified Licence - to continue their businesses in some service areas, including Delhi and Mumbai.
"As required under the conditions of auction, laid down in the Notice Inviting Application, Vodafone has applied for Unified Licence in Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata service areas on 19 February 2014," Vodafone said in a statement.
Bharti Airtel has also applied for new licences in Delhi and Kolkata circles, sources said.
The Unified Licences norms bar a telecom operator from holding any kind of stake in competitor.
The new permit will lead to Vodafone selling a stake it holds in Bharti Airtel. In a letter to the telecom ministry in July 2013, the company had said it holds 4.4 per cent stake indirectly in Bharti Airtel.
Based on Wednesday's closing price of Rs 324.75 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, the market valuation of Airtel was about Rs 1,30,355 crore. At this level, the 4.4 per cent stake would be worth over Rs 5,700 crore.
The two companies did not comment on the matter of stake sale.
Vodafone and Bharti Airtel also bought spectrum afresh for continuing their services in respective circles as their 20-year licence period will expire in November.