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3G Roaming Digest: DoT Issues Notice Against Vodafone & Idea; SC Stays Order

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has issued notices to Vodafone India and Idea Cellular cancelling their intra-circle roaming agreements that allows telcos to offer 3G services in the circles where they do not have spectrum, reports Business Standard. The report states that DoT has also penalized Vodafone India with Rs 550 crore and Idea Cellular with Rs 300 crore for violation of licence norms. Last month, DoT had filed a similar notice against Bharti Airtel to stop offering 3G services in seven circles where it does not hold spectrum. It was also indicated that the telecom minister Kapil Sibal had apparently approved a DoT committee recommendation to impose a Rs 50 crore penalty on each of these seven Airtel licenses. Subsequently, Airtel had filed a plea with the Delhi High Court challenging the Department of Telecom (DoT) notice. Last week, the Delhi High Court had lifted the stay on the government order and has asked Bharti Airtel to stop providing 3G services in seven circles that it did not win spectrum in the 2010 3G spectrum auction. Following this, Bharti Airtel had apparently filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the DoT order, as indicated by a The Hindu BusinessLine report and the Supreme Court had ordered a status quo on this issue until the next hearing scheduled on April 11 and had asked DoT not to take any forceful actions against Bharti Airtel during the period, as indicated by a separate The Hindu BusinessLine report. On 3G Intra Circle Roaming…

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