Vodafone Idea and Airtel Move TDSAT Against Penalty Claim from DoT, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) appealed to the Telecommunications Department’s Settlement Appeals Tribunal (TDSAT) against the telecommunications department’s request for penalties for allegedly denying Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) interconnection points (PoI) in 2016, which affected the quality of services. .

Airtel and Vi’s move comes following the DoT slapping the two telecom operators with cumulative penalties worth Rs 3,050 crore to be paid within three weeks for violating license conditions. TDSAT will hear the case on Tuesday.

This battlefront comes shortly after the government presented an aid plan to help the indebted telecommunications sector and said it also intends to reduce litigation in the telecommunications sector over the continuous efforts to improve the health of operators.

In fact, in another One-Time Spectrum Charges (OTSC) case, which was pending before the Supreme Court this month, the DoT informed that it wished to reconsider its appeal against a telecommunications tribunal ruling supporting the telecom operators’ argument that the CSTO should be levied prospectively.

According to the latest round of sanctions in this PoI case, Airtel is to pay Rs 1,050 crore and Vodafone Idea is to pay Rs 2,000 crore to the government.

The battle began when the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recommended fines of Rs 1,050 crore each in 2016 to Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel for violating license conditions regarding quality of service. by not granting adequate POIs to Jio in 21 circles each.

Idea Cellular was fined Rs 950 crore for breaking the rules in 19 circles. Points of interest are needed for voice calls to go from one network to another – in this case, from Jio’s network to those of Bharti, Idea and Vodafone.

Vodafone and Idea merged in August 2018. The DoT accepted the regulator’s recommendations in June 2019, but had not yet served the notices.

“We are deeply disappointed by the arbitrary and unfair request based on the 2016 Trai recommendations regarding point of interconnection arrangements to a new operator,” a spokesperson for Airtel said in a statement when he received the sanctions this month. . “These allegations were frivolous and reasoned. Bharti Airtel takes pride in maintaining high standards of compliance and has always followed the law of the land. We will challenge the claim and pursue the legal options available to us.” The two operators did not respond to AND requests to relocate TDSAT.


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