Airtel, Idea and Vodafone cannot add 3G users: SC in roaming case

Telecom Lead India: The Supreme Court has ruled that Airtel, Idea and Vodafone cannot add new 3G customers till further notice.

This will be a big blow to these three major GSMA service providers in India.

The 3G roaming agreement case will now be listed on May 9, for final hearing.

While existing customers can still avail the current services, no new customers can be added by Bharti Airtel in seven circles.

A bench, led by the CJI, on Thursday issued notices to all parties and BSNL to formally place their views on the subject before the court within four weeks.

Airtel does not have 3G license in Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh East and Kerala.

Recently, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) asked Bharti Airtel to pay Rs 350 crore as penalty and stop 3G services at Reliance Communication’s instance.

The main beneficiary will be Reliance Jio, which will be launching 4G services soon. Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio has an agreement with Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Communications to use infrastructure to roll out 4G.

Earlier, Reliance Communications claimed that it had suffered a Rs 5000 crore loss in its 3G services despite paying huge license fees for it.