Relief for Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular in 3G roaming pact case

Apr 30 2014, 12:47 IST
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TDSAT quashes all penalties imposed by Dept of Telecom on Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone. (Reuters)) TDSAT quashes all penalties imposed by Dept of Telecom on Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone. (Reuters))
SummaryTelcos had challenged govt ban on pacts between them to provide 3G services beyond their licensed zones.

to TDSAT in September 2013.

"TDSAT had recognised the stand of telecom operators on the basis of which they made aggressive bids for 3G spectrum.

"The judgement also benefits customers who will have more choices now besides operators, who can now freely invest in network coverage," Industry body Cellular Operators Association of India Director General Rajan S Mathews told PTI.

He played down apprehension of the decision affecting value of spectrum in future auction and selective bidding by operators in some circles.

"We know there is not enough spectrum available. Though telecom operators may go for spectrum sharing or this kind of agreement but everyone wants to be on drivers seat. If there is level playing and spectrum auctions are made reasonable, people will go for it," Mathews said.

In 2010, there was no pan-India bidder for 3G auctions while wireless broadband spectrum auctions held immediately after this saw Infotel Broadband Services, now Reliance Jio Infocomm, emerging as only pan-India winner.

There had been no successful pan-India bidder during spectrum auctions held in November 2012, March 2013 and February 2014.

Mathews sees possibility of 3G ICR kind of agreement with other type of spectrum as well.

"If a technology allows to deliver some kind of benefits, I don't see it makes sense to put any obstacles in efficient use of technology," Mathews added.

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