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Delhi HC: Idea,Vodafone not to add new 3G customers in ‘roaming’ circles

Vodafone and Idea provide such services in 11 and six circles,respectively.

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: April 13, 2013 2:23:04 am

Close on the heels of the Supreme Court order on Bharti Airtel,the Delhi High Court on Friday directed Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to stop acquiring new 3G customers in circles where they don’t have spectrum but use the networks of other telcos.

Vodafone and Idea provide such services in 11 and six circles,respectively. The HC will next hear the two telcos’ plea in the 3G intra-circle roaming (ICR) pact case on 15 July. The court also said that no coercive steps would be taken on the issue of penalty raised against the telecom operators for allegedly providing 3G services illegally.

The development comes a day after the apex court ruled that till the 3G intra-circle roaming case is disposed of,Bharti Airtel cannot acquire new 3G customers in the seven circles where it doesn’t have spectrum. However,the court said existing customers in these circles will continue to be serviced. Bharti is also free to add customers in the circles where it has 3G spectrum.

On April 5,the department of telecommunications (DoT) had issued notices to Vodafone and Idea Cellular to immediately stop providing 3G intra-circle roaming services in circles where they do not have spectrum. It had also slapped a penalty of Rs 550 crore on Vodafone and Rs 300 crore on Idea for violating the licence conditions.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher,referring to an SC order on a plea of Bharti Cellular in a similar case,asked DoT not to take any coercive steps in pursuance of its notices issued to the telecom companies.

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