3G roaming: High Court dismisses DoT plea

The Delhi High Court Thursday dismiised a plea seeking a stay on a tribunal order that restrained by the Department of Telecom (DoT) from imposing a ban on 3G roaming pacts between mobile operator.

The DoT had pleaded that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to look into the licence terms and conditions entered among the operators and the DoT.

But the court said the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had the jurisdiction to hear the case of mobile phone service providers that have have challenged a telecom department order on banning 3G roaming services offered by operators in each others' circles.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said they were not inclined to interfere with the tribunal orders and dismissed the petition.
The DoT had declared 3G roaming pacts between mobile operators illegal and asked five telecom operators to stop their inter circle roaming.

The order was challenged by Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular before TDSAT.
According to the DoT, the roaming agreement among telecom companies for 3G services is illegal and would lead to a significant loss of revenue to the government.
The service providers had entered into a roaming agreement to offer 3G services such as video calling, mobile TV and multi-media gaming in telecom circles where they could not win 3G spectrum auctioned last year.

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