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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Govt likely to ask telcos to stop 3G roaming pacts

IANS  New Delhi, September 28, 2012
First Published: 12:42 IST(28/9/2012) | Last Updated: 15:10 IST(28/9/2012)

Showcause notices are likely to be issued to telecom firms Friday, asking them to stop 3G roaming services outside their licensed area with immediate effect, a senior Department of Telecom (DoT) official said.

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"I expect that today (Friday)," DoT secretary R. Chandrasekhar told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event.

"It will go to those who have breached... stopping will be with immediate effect and time given for responding will be 60 days," he added.

Operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular have entered into roaming agreements to offer 3G services such as video calling, mobile TV and multi-media gaming in areas where they did not have 3G spectrum.

The DoT had last December asked the operators to terminate these roaming agreements calling them illegal. It had also said that the government was losing revenue because of these agreements.

The operators had then moved the tribunal challenging the DoT order, saying it would harm customers and investment in the sector.

The tribunal in July delivered a split verdict. The two members - chairman Justice (retd) S.B. Sinha and member P.K. Rastogi - had differing views on the order -- one favouring the department of telecom that held the roaming pacts illegal and the other supporting the operators.

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