After Aircel, it is now Tata Teleservices (TTSL) turn to pay SMS termination fee for each message which gets terminated on Vodafone’s network. Tata Teleservices will have to pay Rs. 5 paise to Vodafone as per the order by Telecom tribunal TDSAT until the dispute is officially resolved. Vodafone had demanded 10 ps per message.
The interim order is huge blow to Tata Teleservices who was demanding for the the fee to be paid on the net flow of SMS than paying per message. However Tata Teleservices can have a sigh of relief as Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed Vodafone to not disconnect the SMS interconnection being generated by TTSL and if so they will have to immediately restore it.
The petition was reviewed by a single member bench of P.K. Rastogi who attended to a similar case between Vodafone and Aircel too earlier this month. In that case too, the Tribunal had directed Aircel to pay Rs. 5 paise for each SMS terminating on Vodafone. The next hearing for the TTSL petition has been listed along with Aircel for January 10, 2013.
TDSAT has asked Vodafone for filing a reply for the main petition within three weeks and TTSL rejoinder within two weeks. The tribunal order against TTSL came at a time when TTSL filed a petition against Vodafone’s notice threatening of disconnecting SMS services on its network for a dispute regarding the termination fees.
The story started unfolding when Vodafone issued a notice to TTSL on November 7 asking it to pay Rs. 188 Crore as an SMS termination fee failing up on which Vodafone would disconnect the SMS service from Tata Teleservices from its network. This led TTSL to submit a petition on the Tribunal alleging Vodafone of unilaterally changing the IUC or ‘Interconnection Usage Charges’ conditions.