The department of telecommunications (DoT) is likely to send fresh show cause notices to Bharti Hexacom for violation of licence conditions “by allowing use of its 3G spectrum under garb of 3G inter-circle roaming agreements”.
Bharti Hexacom, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, operates services in Rajasthan and the Northeast. The fresh notice will be for violating licence conditions in the Northeast.
In the 2010 auctions for 3G spectrum, no operator could win spectrum for pan-India services. Bharti, Vodaofne and Idea entered into roaming agreements for 3G services. Under these pacts they were providing services even in those areas where they did not have spectrum.
The department has already sent notice to Bharti Airtel for a fine of Rs 450 crore for illegally offering 3G roaming services in nine circles where the company did not have licences.
Earlier, the government also sent notices to the company for a penalty of Rs 650 crore for providing subscriber local dialing (SLD) services. In 2003, it was offering SLD services, which was not permitted as per licence conditions.