Roaming charges: After Airtel, Vodafone gets Rs 100 cr fine for violating licence terms
The department of telecommunication has fined Vodafone Rs 100 crore for violating licence norms on the SLD service that allows roaming customers to be on local networks and thereby avoid paying roaming and STD charges.
Vodafone India, like India's largest telecom company Bharti Airtel, has been fined heavily for allegedly violating licence terms on Subscriber Local Dialing services in Mumbai and Delhi between 2003 and 2005, and allowing other telecom service providers to use its spectrum and offer services in circles where they did not have licences, the Economic Times reported today.
The department of telecommunication has fined Vodafone Rs 100 crore for violating licence norms on the SLD service that allows roaming customers to be on local networks and thereby avoid paying roaming and STD charges. Bharti Airtel too is facing a penalty of Rs 650 crore for violating the SLD terms in 13 circles, with a minimum penalty of Rs 50 crore for each circle.
According to the ET report, the DoT had directed Bharti and Vodafone to stop providing SLD services in June 2003 since it helped companies avoid a levy charged with every long-distance call, but Vodafone continued to offer the service till 2005.
Bharti Airtel had also violated the national long-distance (NLD)/international long distance (ILD) licence conditions in 13 circles between 2000 and 2005.
The DoT has reportedly alleged that Bharti Airtel routed national and international calls as local calls which caused loss to the government exchequer and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
DoT had earlier imposed a fine of Rs 350 crore on the company for offering 3G services in seven circles where it did not have licences.
The company had entered into inter-circle roaming agreements with Idea Cellular and Vodafone and was offering services where they had won spectrum for 3G services. The matter is currently subjudice.
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