India’s top telecom operator Bharti Airtel needs to shutdown its 3G services in seven telecom circles, as Honb. Delhi High Court has lifted the stay order which permitted Airtel to operate 3G services in this circles where it does not hold a spectrum license.
Earlier, Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked Airtel to withdraw its 3G services in seven telecom circles where they don’t have 3G spectrum license and was providing 3G services through mutual agreement with its rival other operators, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. Bharti Airtel appealed against this on court and got a temporarily stay order on the government decision. As on today a panel of judges at the Delhi High Court set aside the court’s earlier order that halted the execution of a Government ban, a lawyer said to The Hindu.
To some relief for the operator, Court said Airtel need not immediately pay the Rs 350 cores penalty imposed by the government where it was providing 3G services without license.
The seven telecom circles where Airtel 3G customers will be effected include Kerala, Haryana, Kolkata, Uttar Pradesh East, Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat , Chattigarh and Madhya Pradesh circles. Bharti Airtel have won 3G spectrum license in 13 out of 22 telecom circles in 2010 and was providing 3G services in this seven telecom circles through roaming agreement with Vodafone and Idea Cellular. DoT has earlier issued directives for telecom operators to stop offering 3G roaming pacts, which enabled operators to offer customers 3G service in area’s where they don’t have proper 3G spectrum license.