BSNL joins 3G roaming pact row, accuses telcos of illegally adding subscribers

By Kul Bhushan | Published on 04 Jan 2012
BSNL joins 3G roaming pact row, accuses telcos of illegally adding subscribers

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State-run telecom operator BSNL has also joined the row over 3G roaming agreements between the private telecom operators. BSNL has moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against the private telcos, accusing them of providing 3G services by misrepresenting people on the ‘strength of illegal arrangements/agreements'.

In its application to the tribunal body, BSNL said that the private telecom operators were offering 3G services in circles where they did not have authorised spectrum license. BSNL pointed out that these operators were adding subscribers without paying 3G spectrum license fee. The PSU claimed that such internal arrangement among the private telcos was against National Telecom Policy of 1999.

BSNL also contended that the alleged illegal 3G roaming pact between the operators had caused a huge loss to it and urged the tribunal to restrain the operators from providing 3G services in circles where they do not have authorisation to do so.

BSNL's application to the TDSAT comes after the tribunal held back the Department of Telecom (DoT) order to end the 3G roaming agreements between the telecom operators. The tribunal body asked the government not to rush to a “coercive" action on banning the 3G agreements until its next hearing, which is scheduled to be held on January 3.

While moving the tribunal, the private telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone contended that they should be allowed to have the 3G roaming pact. It may be recalled that DoT had issued stay orders after the telecom regulatory body TRAI, Law Ministry and DoT unanimously said that the 3G roaming pact between the telcos breached the telecom license guidelines.

Also read,

DoT to monitor software used by mobile phone companies: Report
TDSAT stays DoT order on 3G roaming pacts
Govt. bars telecom firms from entering into 3G roaming pacts

Kul Bhushan

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