New Delhi: In some relief to mobile
operators, telecom tribunal TDSAT today directed the
government not to take any "coercive" action against three
telecom firms over inter-circle roaming (ICR) agreement on 3G
till January 3.
The telecom ministry had issued notices to Bharti Airtel,
Vodafone and Idea asking them to stop ICR for premium 3G
mobile services as it was termed illegal and in violation of
"Till next date of hearing, respondent (DoT) would not
take any coercive actions against these operators to enforce
the order of December 23, 2011," TDSAT Bench headed by its
chairperson Justice S B Sinha said.
These three operators along with two others (Tatas and
Aircel) had moved TDSAT, which held special hearing today and
stayed DoT`s decision till January 3, 2012. It issued notices
to telecom ministry asking them to file their response by next
Representing Vodafone, senior counsel Abhishek Manu
Singhvi said the operators were not issued any show cause and
not given a chance to be heard. They (DoT) have failed to
follow the minimal parameters of "good governance".
The order was completely "arbitrary and illegal", Singhvi
said adding that under the Unified Access Services License
(UASL), the operators are free to offer various types of
services like voice, messaging and data.
Saying that 2G and 3G are just different technologies,
Singhvi said the present licence terms doesn`t bar the
operators from offering ICR.
Additional Solicitor General A S Chandioke, appearing for
DoT, submitted that the telecom firms need separate licence
for 3G spectrum as a new clause was inserted in the licence
conditions of the operators who have got 3G bandwidth.