Govt awaiting operators reply on 3G roaming pacts

Govt awaiting operators reply on 3G roaming pacts

The government is awaiting reply from telecom firms that have been issued show cause notices for entering into intra-circle roaming pacts for providing 3G services before taking further action against them.

"We have send notices (for 3G ICR) around a month back. Operators were given 60 days time to respond. We are awaiting their reply. Then, we will take further action," Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar said on the sidelines of Third Worldwide Cyber Security Summit.

The government last month issued notices to telecom companies to stop offering third generation (3G) data services outside their licensed circles through roaming pacts with each other.

However, Bharti Airtel has approached the High Court against the government notice which asked the government not to take any coercive steps against the company.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has held that it is illegal to offer 3G data services beyond a company's licensed zone or circle.

The operators had entered into agreement with one another to offer 3G mobile services in circles in which they could not succeed in getting spectrum in the auctions held last year.

Last December the Government had issued notices to leading telecom firms asking them to stop their 3G roaming agreements as the pacts were illegal.

The operators challenged before TDSAT the DoT directions, issued on December 23 for scrap the pacts within 24 hours.

TDSAT had given a split verdict in the 3G intra-circle roaming case with the tribunal's Chairman allowing operators' plea against the government order to stop the service, while its member dismissed it.

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