Telecom tribunal TDSAT on Tuesday directed Tata Teleservices to pay a fee of 5 paise for each SMS that terminates on Vodafone's network, half of the amount claim demanded by latter, till the dispute is resolved.
Passing an interim order, TDSAT asked Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) to pay half of 10 paise termination fee demanded by Vodafone on the net flow of SMS from the date of filing petition.
Moreover, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) also directed Vodafone not to disconnect the interconnection of the SMS generated from TTSL network and if it has disconnected, then to immediately restore it.
A single-member bench of P K Rastogi said TTSL case was similar to Aircel where Vodafone has demanded 10 paise per SMS. In the last week's Aircel matter also, TDSAT directed it to pay 5 paise per SMS to Vodafone as a temporary measure on a demand for termination fee of Rs. 10.
The tribunal has directed to list TTSL petition on January 10, 2013 for next hearing along with Aircel.
Meanwhile, TDSAT also directed Vodafone to file its reply to the main petition within three weeks and TTSL rejoinder over it within two weeks.
TDSAT's interim order came over the plea of TTSL which had approached the telecom tribunal against Vodafone's notice threatening to disconnect SMS services on its network over a dispute over termination fees.
On November 7, Vodafone had issued notice to TTSL asking it to pay Rs. 188 crore as SMS termination fee by November 17, failing which it would disconnect the Tata group firm's SMSes from its network.
Following this, TTSL had moved TDSAT requesting the tribunal to set aside the notice issued by Vodafone. It had also alleged that Vodafone had unilaterally changed the IUC (Interconnection Usage Charges) conditions.
Vodafone is demanding termination fee from TTSL at the rate of 10 paise per SMS from April 2011.
Termination charges are paid by an operator from whose network calls or SMS originate to the one on whose network these communications end.