It's a great shock to Idea and Vodafone users on the 3G networks. Now the two carriers will not be offering roaming on their 3G services. The setback came after the telecom department (DoT) issued notices to the telecos to bar the services outside their license zones.
DoT issued the notices late Friday night asking the two operators to pay penalty of Rs 50-crore in all the circles where they have been providing voice and data services through roaming pacts on the 3G networks.
The Economic Times reported the 3G roaming services barring "implies that Vodafone and Idea face the prospect of being slapped with penalties to the tune Rs 450 crore and Rs 550 crore, respectively, for this alleged violation."
In December 2011 the government asked Idea, Vodafone, Airtel and other operators to stop offering 3G services in circles where they have not been allotted the 3G spectrum. However, the three continued offering after a split verdict from TDSAT (telecom disputes tribunal). Meanwhile, after the first government directives the Tata Teleservices and Aircel maintained the legalities.
The recent verdict of DoT still gives opportunity to Idea and Vodafone to respond within 60 days. As per the notice, the Centre may even cancel the 3G permits of these two telecos if the replies received by them are not satisfactory.
Idea offers 3G services in Kolkata and Delhi using Vodafone pacts where as Vodafone gives the same in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (West) circles using Idea Cellular network.