Bharti Airtel is speculated to be ordered by the Department of Telecom (DoT) to stop providing its 3G services in seven circles within next fifteen days according to a report by ET. The government is taking measures to stop Airtel to provide 3G network services in areas outside its licensed zones, where it has been using spectrum allotted to other operators like Vodafone and Idea. Telecom operators in the country entered pacts that allowed them to use 3G frequencies of each other in areas where they were unable to obtain spectrum.
Besides this, Airtel would require to pay a fine of Rs 50 crore for each circle accounting to a total of Rs 350 crore for seven circles for providing 3G service against the government’s nod.
In September last year the government had issued the first notice to the company to withdraw its 3G services from circles where it was not eligible to provide these services. It obtained a stay order from the Delhi High Court for the time being but did not terminate its services from these zones. Finally, DoT has decided this move after getting an approval from telecom minister, Kapil Sibal.
In fact, Airtel is not alone, as the DoT is also expected to send similar notices to Idea Cellular and Vodafone.