BSNL’s complaint against Airtel, Vodafone, Idea rejected by CCI – 3G Spectrum Allotment

In a complaint to CCI (Competition Commission of India), BSNL had alleged that Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had acted as a cartel while bidding for 3G spectrum auctions held in 2010.

BSNLBSNL had accused the trio for selective bidding in different circles and later entering into illegal roaming arrangements to provide PAN India coverage. CCI in its order said that there is no prima facie case to investigate the matter. CCI observed that 33 licenses were issued in place of 22 circles and it was natural for companies to bid in profitable markets. Apart from this BSNL did not provide any other inputs to prove that Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had formed a cartel, CCI said.

This ruling would have brought in a sigh of relief amongst Indian telecom majors, particularly when auctions are scheduled to be held. What do you think at this move by CCI as a reader? Do you think there was a CARTEL between the trio? Do let us know via comments.

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  • ashish February 3, 2014 4:14 pm

    Even today operators like idea and vodafone charging for roaming between mumbai maharashtra very bad looting from people who live in vasai virar and ulhasnagar clusters.Every operator in mumbai and maharastra should treat the both circle as one with uniform charges like airtel does , also operators should take care when any mobile network moves like for eg from mumbai to mahaharatsra it should not drop the call…niether the user need to manaullly select the network its very frustating.

  • Yogesh Sarvade January 31, 2014 5:43 pm

    Yes it is true that a v i are doing this since last many years.For 3g there is airtel in mumbai while idea in maharashtra. They divide circles among them. Tata also selling its tele service to vodaphone. There is no competition among a v i. They set high fix terrif and any one hike other 2 follow. Tata gsm i still use and i loved their service specially internet. But last one year they make 30 min session and it lost million users. Having no other option now i am using idea 52rs/500MB/30 Days special offer though i personally dislike these 3. Tata n aircel are about to exit due to huge loss and debt. At same time a v i added 3 million users in last month and as per reports of 3rd quarter airtel profit 6 Bn and idea 4 Bn. About 50 cr indian tele users are of a v i. I hope entry of R jio will reduce terrif for internet. Well jio start installing BTS in my colony here in Aurangabad city maharashtra. I think r jio will start service after general elections as Mr Modi will support them.

  • Raghuram January 29, 2014 2:41 am

    Definitely it is cartelization by AVOID. Uninor, Aircel, Reliance , TATA have to improve the network and coverage a lot .

  • Kaushik January 28, 2014 9:11 pm

    Of course, there is a cartel! BSNL just could not furnish any proof, but that does not mean that the people of India do not know this fact!

  • sAm January 28, 2014 8:48 pm

    Still everone knows this A-Vo-Id group is acting as a cartel in each and every aspect.
    Only the Watchdog is sleeping.
    BSNL,Reliance,Tata,Telenor,Aircel are the only other true companies operating in the market.

  • Radhika January 28, 2014 3:54 pm

    Obviously thay would have planned this forming CARTEL,may it be behind the scene,but still thay made their profits..

    Its Total fault of Governing Bodies and somewhat our constitution,which provides too many loop holes to these Private telcos to play with…
    What were the Govt. doing when these CARTEL started selling their products n services in circles ,where they did’nt even bid for spectrum..

    If i remember correctly except few paper work to show off,that WATCH DOG is looking into the matter,is there anything strictly done by any,to stop this completely,no they just give another option and WAIT.. GUD LUCK – TRAI

    About BSNL only i can say, ” Ab Pachtaye Kya hoe ,Jab Chidiya Chugh Gai Khet””

    • Radhika January 28, 2014 6:55 pm

      Major Points that Govt. neglected and gave a free hand to Private Telcos, and finally all of this sufferer were the telcos who left the indian market or did’nt expand. When govt. is not looking after companies under FDA,then how can we expect them to look after a PSU (BSNL)..

      1. Price Fixing (i.e -2g-3g data,pay/p plans)
      2. Illegal Deduction
      3. ICRA was for roaming not for selling services/products in circles w/o spectrum.
      which they are still selling just following court order and not doing any new activations,but still selling RC either way still providing services.. ;-/
      TT should publish an article regarding price fixing game been played by these operators..

  • MGR January 28, 2014 3:35 pm

    To break this domination Reliance,Tata,Aircel has to improve the coverage.BSNL coverage is good but poor CC also no attractive pre and post paid plans.. Tata coverage is poor now a days plans also not attractive.Reliance plans are good but poor coverag. Aircel in some circles coverage is good but in most circles coverage is not good plans especially in TN is costlier.

    Apart from this Videocon,Uninor are not in service due licence cancellation.

    Government is fully supporting the AVOID and killing BSNL.

    • S.SUDHAKAR January 28, 2014 11:42 pm

      In Tamilnadu :
      Aircel and BSNL cheaper in call rates. But all operators (except Chennai Aircel) in Tamilnadu give worst / dead 2G speed.

      BSNL is worst in customer care.

      • Rama January 29, 2014 11:45 am

        I get above 20 kbps on 2G on my airtel number in Tamil Nadu.

        • S.Sudhakar January 29, 2014 12:37 pm

          What the hell?. Why are you confusing Kbps and KBps?.

          I am getting only 5 KBps (40 Kbps) even in strong coverage area in my Nokia N8.

          • Rama January 29, 2014 1:01 pm

            I am getting 20 KBps or 160kbps on my airtel 2G hope thats enough clarification.

  • Rama January 28, 2014 2:21 pm

    Agreed that cartelisation is wrong but one must agree the formula has worked out in the Indian Telecom sector.Currently Airtel,Vodafone and Idea are the three largest telecom operators in India in terms of subscriber base.The trio aslo earn some really awesome profits.Aircel who tried to go to the top without cartelisation support failed miserably.Tata Docomo is also in demise.Rcom slipped for two to three and now four.No matter how much we criticize avoid for its cartelisation we end up going to them for their qos.

  • S.SUDHAKAR January 28, 2014 1:55 pm

    The shameless private operators have paid to the CCI to divert the justice in favour to them.

    I support BSNL in this regard. BSNL, please improve your customer care and launch international roaming in prepaid. Then no one can do anything against you.

    • khanz February 1, 2014 12:56 pm

      One rupee international roaming launched

      • khanz February 1, 2014 12:57 pm

        national roaming for 1 rupee

  • Anirudh January 28, 2014 12:53 pm

    CARTEL word is not right the best word may be they are black marketers…. don’t beleive me
    just check out any state plan and conpare between the three you will find no difference …infact they didn’t show any competition in between them

  • idea88 January 28, 2014 9:58 am

    already avoido created so much cartelisation in India. even Videocon, uninor are stay away bexuze of avido in Mumbai from auction.

  • Aam Admi January 28, 2014 9:58 am

    I know, You know, We all know..! How the hell CCI didn’t know..?

    • Radhika January 29, 2014 5:45 pm


  • Kingston January 28, 2014 9:26 am

    Not only 3G auction even in 2G tariff also. Here in Tamilnadu Airtel and Vodafone having same tariff.

    • s m ashiq January 28, 2014 12:16 pm

      what kingston said is true. if you check tariff and offers of the trio all will be same. Industry only faced competition from Reliance and Tata Docomo.

  • AAP January 28, 2014 9:14 am

    Yes it was…
    Even BSNL would have done this by taking some circles and then binding with others
    Its a CARTEL nly….but as BSNL cant provide best services all over india we have to regret it & use them
    If BSNL was to provide best services then who would opt private companies

  • Akhil Mohan January 28, 2014 8:20 am

    Ofcourse there is cartel. but why should bsnl complain. they also benefitted from it. if there was agressive bidding bsnl would have had to pay higher prices.

  • shashikant January 28, 2014 7:18 am

    @Chetan the private operators always doing monopoly in telecom sector. even AVOIDO are create dominant position to away the uninor or Videocon from auction . in Mumbai uninir n Videocon are two are cheapest operatees , but this aviodo are created so much monopoly . I truly against that Vodafone should not get license in Feb 2014 , instead reliance jio or Indian operateer must get license . Vodafone go ur home.