After a split verdict from TDSAT (telecom disputes tribunal) with regards to the legality of the 3G inter-circle roaming pact Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have said that they will continue to offer 3 g services under the pact till a final verdict comes.
Customers of Airtel using 3G services in Maharastra, Goa, Kanpur and Kolkata where it uses Vodafone network, and Gujarat where it uses Idea Cellular network will be affected if this agreement is found illegal in a later verdict.
Similarly Vodafone offers 3G services to its customers in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (West) using Idea Cellular network and in Karnataka it uses Airtel will be affected.
Idea offers 3G services Delhi and Kolkata using this pact.
Tata Docomo, Reliance communication and Aircel had also announced similar pacts earlier but they have since then canceled the pact and currently do not offer 3G services outside the circles that they won spectrum in.
There are no figures on how many users use the 3G services of these operators in the circles under roaming pact.
In December last year Government has termed the 3G roaming pact amongst these operators illegal, which the operators challenged with the TDSAT. Two member bench of TDSAT, comprising chairman Justice S B Sinha and member P K Rastogi gave a split verdict.
While Justice Sinha allowed the telecom operators’ plea against the government’s directive to stop inter-circle 3G roaming on the ground that disallowing roaming would amount to a violation of natural justice. Rastogi stated that telcos could not offer 3G roaming on a 2G license.
Both telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar and telcos said they will seek a legal view before deciding on their next move.
“Depending on DoT’s decision, we may appeal to the Supreme Court, as disallowing 3G roaming will amount to a significant loss in revenues for telcos,â€ said Rajan Matthews, director-general of the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI).
Until such time, however, telcos will continue to offer 3G services, leaving their customers unaffected.