The Department of Telecom (DoT), this Friday, asked leading telecom operators Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to stop offering 3G roaming services in zones, they did not have a license for. Also, DoT has asked the Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to pay a penalty of Rs 550 crore and Rs 300 crore, respectively.
Last month DoT sent a similar notice to Bharti Airtel to stop 3G roaming in areas where it did not have spectrum. Also, the telecom operator was fined, a hefty penalty of Rs 350 crore. However, Airtel did manage to get a stay order from the Delhi High Court.
This Thursday, the Delhi High Court lifted the stay order, which had halted the DoT's efforts in shutting down Airtel' 3G services in the specific zones.
India has a total of 22 telecommunication zones. In the 2010 auction for 3G airwaves, none of the telecom companies were able to bag licenses for all the zones, as the bids were more expensive then expected. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea made pacts for providing 3G service beyond their licensed grounds. Apparently these pacts violate the rules of the Government.
According to Times Of India, Airtel have decided to appeal against the order in the Supreme Court and Vodafone and Idea are also expected to do the same.
Source: Times Of India