wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Law Ministry On 3G ICR Agreements: DoT Can Cancel Permits, Claim Revenue

The Law Ministry has given its nod to the Department of Telecom for taking action against telcos that have been offering 3G services in service areas where they were not allotted 3G spectrum via Intra-circle roaming agreements, following which the DoT intends to direct operators such as Vodafone, Idea and Airtel to stop offering 3G services in circles where they don’t have 3G spectrum, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The report cites the Additional Solicitor General’s response to a DoT query, in which he has clarified that the DoT had the right to claim the revenue earned by companies who did not have ‘any authorisation, permission or license from the DoT’ to run 3G services based on’the doctrine of unjust enrichment’. It added that the DoT also had the mandate to cancel their permits. However, the ministry also mentioned that DoT cannot impose financial penalties on the telcos.

Note that leading telcos, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Airtel use 3G Intra-circle roaming pacts to offer 3G services in areas where they don’t have a 3G license. The DoT and the operators have been at loggerheads on the issue, with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) delivering a split-verdict on the dispute, in July, as the two-member judge bench comprising of the chairman Justice S B Sinha and member P K Rastogi, reached different conclusions on whether these pacts could be allowed or not. While Sinha approved the telecom operators’ appeal against DoT’s directive to stop intra-circle 3G roaming stating that DoT had not followed proper process and had not provided appropriate time for telcos to respond with their views, asking DoT to restart this process and provide enough time for operators to respond to DoT’s directive,  Rastogi had dismissed the telcos’ appeal stating that operators cannot offer 3G services in the country when they only have 2G licenses.

3G Roaming Pacts: Telcos vs Indian Govt (DoT)

Vodafone had launched 3G services in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala with to an intra-circle 3G arrangement between Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel and had announced in the following month, that it had signed agreements with Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular to allow operators to offer 3G roaming services in areas where it doesn’t have licenses to operate 3G services.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

However, the DoT later announced that these arrangements were illegal since the agreements were against the telecom licenses and would lead to loss of revenue to the government. The telecom ministry had also sent notices to telcos ordering them to scrap the 3G intra-circle roaming pact following which Aircel and Tata Docomo had scrapped their agreement for providing 3G services in each other’s circles, while Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Airtel had jointly written a letter to the Prime Minister of India asking them for a refund of the spectrum auction money with interest, in case the ICR roaming arrangements were to be declared illegal. Operators also moved to TDSAT the same day, against the directive. Further, they added that they had received prior explicit written clarifications from DoT before the auction, regarding this matter. TDSAT had later restrained DoT from taking any action against the operators.

Do read our take on the 3G Intra-Circle Roaming dispute.

Related:
– Aircel & Tata Docomo Cancel 3G Intra Circle Roaming Agreement: Report
– 3G Roaming Scam Or Just Poorly Thought Out Policy?
– Idea Cellular Q2FY12 Call: To Launch Branded Android OS Phones; 3G ICR Revenues; MNP

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

News

In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

News

By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

News

By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...

You May Also Like

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ