Today, most of the major telecom operators supply 3G services across the country, but they cannot able to perform so anymore as the DoT- Department of Telecommunications has directed Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to stop offering 3G voice and data services outside their licensed zones through roaming pacts.
Airtel, Idea and Vodafone got 3G licenses in a few circles in the country and have signed roaming pacts with each other to let their subscribers utilize data services across the country.
Currently Idea, Bharti and Vodafone have licences to operate 3G services in 13, 9 and 11 circles.
In 2010, They got the bids in the auctions for 3G airwaves. The administration has not authorized any company to operate 3G services in all the 22 circles of the country.
The DoT doesn’t endorse of this, and as per a report by The Economic Times, these companies have been issued show-cause and advisory notices to stop such operations, R Chandrasekhar telecom secretary said on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry conference.
It looks the show-cause notices have been served because the 3 operators have violated Mobile Virtual Network Operators norms.
MVNOs, are not permitted in India, offer telecom services without owning spectrum. Last year in December ,The move is an enforcement of the Telecom Department’s order which directed mobile phone companies to end 3G roaming pacts.
Chandrasekhar statements to media “We have asked them to immediately comply with the directive issued last year and have given them 60 days to explain why action should not be taken against them for breach of rules”.
As per the statement, Chandrasekhar said the government would issue various notices to the companies to claim the revenue produced through these pacts. The companies have been given 3 days to submit compliance reports sai bye Chandrasekhar.
The Economic Times reports that following the department’s order last year, the 3 mobile operators dared its order before the telecom tribunal, TDSAT, which issued an interim stay order. The subsequent verdict in July was split.
Despite the growth of the no.of 3G subscribers, carriers in India have not managed to produce expected returns on investment in 3G services because a large chunk of mobile phone users still prefer the cheaper 2G services.
Under present rules, maximum penalty for licence violation is 50 crore per circle.
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