The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is all set to send notices to telecom service providers including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular asking them to stop providing 3G services in those circles or service areas where they do not have spectrum.
The law ministry has opined that the DoT can direct the three telecom service providers to stop services.
"These companies are providing 3G services illegally in those service areas where they do not have spectrum," said a DoT official. "We will soon send them notices to stop the services."
The private operators and the DoT are engaged in a legal battle over 3G roaming agreements between the three operators. Under these agreements, the companies are providing services in those areas where they do not have licences.
The companies approached the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) when the DoT sent them notices to stop services.
However, they could not get any relief from the TDSAT as a two-member TDSAT bench gave a split verdict.
The two member bench comprising of chairman justice S B Sinha and member PK Rastogi differed in their findings. Justice Sinha expresses the view that the DoT had not followed the proper procedure and the operators were not given proper time to put their views.
Setting aside the DoT's order to operators to stop ICR roaming services, he asked the DoT to start the procedure afresh by giving proper time to operators to respond.
Rastogi, however, dismissed telecom operators' plea, saying they cannot provide 3G services under their own brand in areas whether they do not have spectrum.