The apex court today (December 11, 2012) directed Airtel to reconnect its SMS services to Aircel within 24 hours which was terminated following a dispute between the two telecom giants. The issue was on Aircel paying the termination charges to Airtel. Termination charges are those which are paid by the operators from whose network the calls or messages originate to the ones to whose network the communications are sent.
Aircel has now agreed upon paying termination charges at 10p per SMS. The Supreme Court has further demanded that within a period of two weeks' time, from Monday, the appellants are supposed to pay their arrears to the respondents in terms of a demand letter dated October 25 and also the termination charges of 10p per SMS from the date of regeneration of services. Aircel is now all set to challenge the telecom sector Tribunal TDSAT for rejecting its plea on September 24th against Airtel.
The division bench had also made clear that the payment that is to be made by the appellants to the respondents will remain subject to final settlement of the appeal. The SMS termination charges are not an issue just between Airtel and Aircel but between various other telecom operators too.
The disputes are between Vodafone and Tata Docomo, Airtel and Reliance, Airtel and Aircel. Tata Docomo has also appealed against Airtel for the termination charges on services like 10p per SMS.