In a move to prompt Aircel to pay up its termination charges, Vodafone India has barred SMSes between the two mobile network operators. Aircel confirmed about the move by Vodafone, when its customers received messages quoting that message services to Vodafone and Airtel has been blocked. Right now, the company is reportedly trying to find a way out of this situation.
According to a spokesperson from Aircel, the dispute will be monitored by Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) for resolution with a hearing scheduled for Friday.
Termination charges are the amounts that one operator pays another for the SMS services that is conducted between them. The charge is calculated based on the number of SMSes send between the operators.
As a result of the ban, the Aircel customers in the country are totally cut off from two of the major mobile operators in the country. Bharti Airtel had moved against Aircel and Reliance Communications two weeks back, just before Diwali, by blocking message services from these two networks. Apparently, the two networks had flooded Airtel’s network with free spam messages causing its network to face congestion. Aircel and Reliance had claimed that this was part of Airtel’s pressure tactics to increase their termination charges.
Airtel’s move was a blanket ban, encompassing the entire country while Vodafone has limited the ban to only New Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
There have been multiple disputes over termination charges among several major telecommunication companies in India, with many of them still remaining unresolved.