India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will ask Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular to called off their mutual agreement for 3G roaming and stop 3G Roaming services via ICRA in non-3G circles immediately.
According to ET Reports, India's Law ministry has said that the Department of telecommunications (DoT) can initiate action, including terminating mobile service licences of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, for allegedly violating licence terms and conditions and entering into bilateral 3G Roaming agreements in areas where they did not have 3G licences and spectrum.
Earlier the DoT had sought the Law ministry's opinion on whether leading GSM telcos - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular said that they will continue to offer 3G services on a pan-India basis, after a two-member bench of the telecom disputes tribunal (TDSAT) had delivered a split verdict on a petition challenging the Government's order banning such 3G Roaming agreements as we shared on TelecomTalk on 5th July.
If you Remember, Tata Docomo and AIRCEL called off their mutual agreement for Intra circle 3G Roaming services on 14th December as we reported but Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular were continue providing the 3G service via ICRA.
The current licence terms and conditions allow operators to go in for Roaming agreements to enable their subscribers to get seamless mobile network coverage as they move from one circle to other circle in India wherein they doesn’t have any network/spectrum or services.
But in 3G services, leading private operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular are selling their 3G products and new connections even in circles where they do not have 3G spectrum/licence. Operators having 3G spectrum pay higher revenue share in the form of ‘ 3G spectrum usage fee’.
Presently only state run telecom operators BSNL and MTNL providing pan India 3G services with all legal terms and conditions of 3G licence.