The Supreme Court has asked Bharti Airtel to approach Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) regarding the 3G intra circle roaming agreement issue that began with DoT imposing heavy penalties on telecom majors Vodafone, Idea and Bharti Airtel.
The TDSAT has also been asked to decide on the case by this year end and till then, the interim order given by the Apex will continue that restrains Bharti Airtel from adding new 3G subscribers in seven circles where it does not possess 3G licenses. However, the company will be able to continue 3G services to its existing customers in Kolkata, UP East, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala.
On March 18th this year, DoT slapped a penalty of Rs. 350 crore on Bharti Airtel for violating license conditions and offering 3G services via Intra-Circle roaming pacts which according to DoT is illegal. Later in April, similar penalties were imposed on Vodafone and Idea Cellular wherein the companies were asked to pay Rs. 550 crore and Rs. 300 crore respectively.