Following notices from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) regarding ‘illegal' 3G intra-circle roaming agreements, the three mobile operators — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular — on Friday moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), challenging the notices.
A two-member TDSAT bench will hold a special hearing on Saturday.
After taking opinions from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Law Ministry, the DoT has termed the intra-circles roaming agreements between various operators as ‘illegal' and asked these operators to file their replies on the notice within 24-hours.
The DoT has asked these operators to clarify their stands on violation of licence agreements by offering 3G services in circles for which they did not have the spectrum. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel has expressed shock at the ‘arbitrary decision' taken by the DoT despite clarifying at the time of 3G auctions that “the roaming policy is applicable to the licenses and not to specific spectrum bands. Hence, roaming will be permitted.”