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Help Airtel, Vodafone, Idea asked to stop 3G roaming services
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As expected the leading telcos Vodafone and Idea have been asked by the Department of Telecommunications to stop 3G roaming services within three days in circles where they don’t have licenses. Airtel has been asked to stop services within 24 hours.

The High court on Thursday vacated its stay order which prevented government from executing its order asking these companies to stop 3G services.

Vodafone and Idea also attracted a penalty of Rs 550 crore and Rs 300 crore respectively. The government in 2011 had declared 3G roaming pacts as illegal. The Supreme Court will hear Bharti Airtel’s plea on the issue on April 8. The apex court on Friday rejected its plea for immediate hearing.

The High Court vacated the stay order services on RCom’s plea which cited the adverse impact on its business due to Airtel’s 3G roaming services.

Interestingly, RCom was part of the group of five telecom companies which appealed to the government to allow 3G roaming hoping for favorable decision from the government. But later it opposed High Court’s stay order on Airtel’s plea.

RCom in its plea had said that it has paid thousands of crores for the 3G spectrum and Bharti is using it for free in as many as seven circles, therefore, disrupting the level playing field.

“If this is allowed, then there is no requirement for any licensee to participate and purchase 3G spectrum in auction. This defeats the purpose of auction.” Hence, by riding on airwaves of Vodafone and Idea, Bharti Airtel was eating into RCom’s business” it said.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea which entered into agreement with each other for offering 3G services by using each other's airwaves, had won licenses for 13, 9 and 11 circles, respectively in 2010. These three GSM operators then entered into agreement with each other for offering 3G services by using each other's airwaves.

In December 2011 the government had had declared 3G roaming pacts as 'illegal'. Following this show-cause notices were sent to these operators asking to stop 3G services.

http://www.telecomtiger.com/PolicyNRegul...ction=S174
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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