Poll: 3G ICRA Cancelled, Users at Loss: Whom to Blame?

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The big trio of Indian telecom – Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are in trouble, as their 3G ICRA has been slapped illegal tag from DoT and court.

3G Map IndiaIn 2010 Indian government auctioned spectrum on 2100MHz band for launching GSM-3G services. The auction was too fierce that not a single company could not get pan India 3G coverage. Soon Airtel, Vodafone and Idea entered into an agreement to offer 3G services even in those circles where they don’t have spectrum. As per the policy the operators can enter into similar agreement to offer seamless services across the country, but operators act as if they don’t understand the rulebook and start selling 3G services in circles where it does not have the spectrum.

As DoT slapped the notice to Airtel, Airtel got a stay order from court on this. But however the stay order from Delhi High Court is removed and Airtel has to shut down services in those circles. Following that DoT issued similar notices to Vodafone and Idea Cellular along with penalty.

If you can remember Tata Docomo and Aircel have similar arrangements to offer seamless 3G coverage for those are roaming. But Tata Docomo and Aircel did not sell 3G services in those circles where it does not have services.

Now as the notice goes, 3G customers of these operators in those circles, where they don’t have 3G spectrum will go no 3G. The ultimate sufferers are aam-Janta, who may see their 3G signal go off though they have 3G data and balance in their account.

This is bad, but at the same time these operators are offering services at same cost, paid by winner operators in certain circles. Airtel does not have 3G license in Kolkata, but offering 3G services via Vodafone at no lesser price.

Who do you think is more responsible for customers’ sufferings due to 3G ICRA Mess?

Do let us know via comments.

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