Delhi High Court lifts stay order on Airtel 3G pact ban
By insightVAS - Thu Apr 04, 5:24 pm
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The Delhi High Court lifted the stay order on the government’s notice to Bharti Airtel. According to the government’s order, the operator must stop serving 3G services outside its licensed circles and pay a penalty of Rs 350 crore.
With the stay order by Delhi High Court, Bharti Airtel had got a relief last month. The Court also ruled that Airtel can continue with its 3G Intra-circle roaming services till its final order.
The court had posted the matter for May 8 while Airtel can keep the earnings from 3G services in a separate account.
Earlier, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sent notice to Airtel asking it stop 3G roaming services outside its licensed zones.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had won licenses for 13, 9 and 11 circles, respectively in 2010. These three GSM operators then entered into a pact with each other to offering 3G services to its subscribers by using each other’s airwaves.
Earlier in October the Delhi High Court had barred the government from stopping the mobile phone companies to offer 3G services through roaming pacts. This has come as a huge relief to Bharti Airtel.
The government in December 2011 had declared 3G roaming pacts as ‘illegal’. Through these show-cause notices these operators have been asked to pay Rs 50 crore in every circle where they were offering 3G services through roaming pacts. Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had approved the recommendation of a Department of Telecom committee on Rs 50 crore penalty.
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