Idea Cellular suspends interconnect services with Aircel citing dues

Idea said it will restore interconnect services immediately after Aircel makes the payment, but did not specify the outstanding amount.

Idea Cellular suspends interconnect services with Aircel citing dues

New Delhi: Idea Cellular today said it has "suspended" interconnect services with Aircel for various circles on account of non-payment of dues "despite several reminders".

Idea, which is on the verge of merging with larger rival Vodafone in India, said it will restore interconnect services immediately after Aircel makes the payment, but did not specify the outstanding amount or the circles.

"Idea Cellular has suspended interconnect services with Aircel Ltd, due to non-payment of dues," Idea said in a statement.

An Aircel spokesperson said that the industry was in a "bad" state, and that the company is in active talks with all stakeholders to do the best it can under the circumstances.

"The state of the industry is bad, we are in active discussions with all our stakeholders to do the best we can under the present difficult business environment and the ongoing SDR (strategic debt restructuring) process" the spokesperson added.

Idea, meanwhile said, that despite multiple reminders since November 2017, Aircel had failed to meet its payment commitments forcing the company to suspend interconnect services, as per the terms of interconnect agreement.

"Idea Cellular regrets the inconvenience caused to mobile users who are unable to connect with each other. We sincerely hope that the operator will honour its contractual obligation and payment commitment, in the interest of customers," Idea added.

It may be recalled that Aircel had informed the sector regulator in December that it will be surrendering its licenses in six circles — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh (West) within 60 days, given the difficult business environment. 

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