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TDSAT allows 3G intra-circle roaming agreements & quashes penalties; Timeline

A big relief for telcos in India: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has reversed the government ban on 3G Intra-circle roaming agreements that allows telcos to offer 3G services in the circles where they do not have spectrum, reports The Times Of India. The tribunal mentions that these agreements do not violate any conditions mentioned in the Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) license and are therefore valid. Interestingly, it also mentioned that such pacts could help in better utilisation of 3G spectrum in the country and thereby increase the revenues of both the Government and the telecom operator. DoT’s penalty on telcos quashed In addition to this, TDSAT has also quashed the cumulative penalties of Rs 1,200 crore imposed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular for violation of licence norms in April last year. DoT now has the option to contest this judgement in the Supreme Court. Mint cites two unnamed senior DoT officials to state that it is likely to appeal in the Supreme Court once a new government comes in power. Intra-circle 3G roaming agreements helps telcos to offer 3G services to their customers in areas where it doesn’t have license to operate 3G services, thereby getting a pan-India 3G footprint. This could further drive the 3G penetration in the country, which has been witnessing a staggering mobile Internet growth over the past few quarters. Besides this, consumers will also get to choose from more operators for 3G services. Note that…

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