DoT to appeal against 3G intra-circle roaming in SC next week
TDSAT in April this year overturned a government ban on offering 3G mobile services beyond their licensed zones through roaming pacts.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Department of Telecom (DoT) will appeal against 3G intra-circle roaming (ICR) agreement in the Supreme Court next week.
TDSAT in April this year overturned a government ban on offering 3G mobile services beyond their licensed zones through roaming pacts saying it was in national interest to allow better utilisation of scarce radio frequency.
The DoT had banned such ICR agreements, saying they enabled the companies to offer 3G services without buying spectrum. This was challenged by operators before the TDSAT.
TDSAT also quashed penalties on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular and notices issued to Aircel and Tata Tele in this regard.
The tribunal was of view the DoT prohibition on intra circle roaming between the operators on 3G network would leave the network unutilised.
According to the tribunal, ICR agreements between the operators would result in "much fuller and better utilisation" of 3G spectrum and would also increase revenue of provider and the seeker. It would also benefit the government which would get a per centage from the operator as license fee.
TDSAT's order came over petitions filed by Airtel, Vodafone and Idea challenging DoT's direction to stop 3G intra-circle roaming agreement under which they had also agreed to acquire customers in areas where they did not win spectrum.
With PTI Inputs