Airtel has got a temporary relief, and can continue their 3G intra-circle roaming till April 11th. A Supreme Court bench has asked telecoms department not to take any action on the Bharti Airtel on 3G roaming pact till Thursday, according to a report from The Economic Times. Last month DoT had asked Bharti Airtel to stop 3G services in 7 circles and asked them to pay Rs. 350 crore (Rs. 50 crore per circle) for illegal roaming pact. Delhi High Court temporarily stalled the execution of DoT’s order until the final hearing, after Airtel appealed against it.
Last week Supreme Court rejected a plea by Bharti to immediately hear its appeal against the Delhi High Court order on Thursday. DoT had ordered Airtel to shut down 3G services within 24 hours in these 7 circles that include, Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh (East), Kolkata, Gujarat, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh if the Supreme Court failed to give a relief today.
Last week DoT had asked Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to stop 3G services outside their licensed zones in 3 days, and asked them to pay Rs. 550 and Rs. 300 crores, respectively for violating licence norms. Both the companies had appealed against the notices alongside Bharti Airtel in the Supreme Court, says ET. This news would not only be a relief for Airtel, but also for Vodafone and Idea Cellular, who partnered to offer pan-India 3G services by sharing airwaves.