New Delhi: Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has informed telecom tribunal TDSAT that 1800 series numbers cannot be used for making international calls.
In its affidavit filed before TDSAT, the DoT said that international call forwarding are not permitted in 1800 series Intelligent Network (IN) number -- a services used for toll free numbers.
The DoT's reply came after TDSAT had directed to file an reply affidavit in the ongoing dispute between Airtel and Reliance Communications (RCom). RCom had approached TDSAT accusing Bharti Airtel of blocking international calls originated on its network instead of forwarding them to Intelligent Network.
"It is submitted that number series 1800 based IN services are for national dialling and as per National Number Planning (NNP) 2003 the same can not be used for making international calls. This is also supported by TRAI in its recommendation of January, 2008," said DoT in its affidavit.
Under National Numbering Plan (NNP 2003), only two types of numbers are permitted for international dialling and such dialling would require a pre-fix of '00' or '000'.
"All other types of dialling for international calls is in violation of NNP 2003," said DoT.
During the proceedings today, the tribunal also accepted the request of DoT to remove it as a party in the dispute between RCom and Airtel.
RCom has made DoT a party in its petition along with Bharti Airtel.
On July 27, TDSAT had asked to maintain status quo and said no call to Intelligent Network (IN) numbers would be blocked by Airtel till further orders.
RCom is objecting blockage of international IN call originated from its network by Bharti Airtel contending that there is no distinction between IN free calls terminating in within or outside India as per NNP.
It said that 001800 numbering series is applicable to the bilateral agreements between the two operators and is not a part of IN services.
Under IN services, special toll free numbers are assigned under special 1800 series, which are free to the calling party, but a telephone carrier feed is charged from the subscriber who owns the toll free number.
Airtel and RCom had entered into an agreement on May 8, 2007 for forwarding calls made on toll free/free numbers.
RCom had alleged that Bharti Airtel after five years of agreement is now contending such free calls cannot be terminated outside India.
As per the agreement, both the firms were forwarding calls made to IN number respectively from their networks sharing a revenue of 52 paise per minute.
However Airtel had said that "it was fraud" on them. The agreement was only for call within India.