India's Supreme Court has said that mobile operator Bharti Airtel may continue to provide 3G services in seven circles where it does not have licences, through roaming pacts with other operators, but that it must stop enrolling new subscribers to these circles, writes The Economic Times. The court issued notices to all parties and BSNL asking them to place their views formally on the subject before the court in four weeks. The case will now be listed on 09 May for final hearing.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has restrained the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) from taking any 'coercive steps' against Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. The operators have been asked to pay fines of INR 5.5 billion and INR 3 billion respectively for providing 3G services outside their circles without the necessary licences.
Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have also been told not to add new customers to their 3G services and a notice has been issued to the DoT to file its reply to two separate petitions from the service providers. Meanwhile, the court allowed Reliance Communication be impleaded as a party to the petitions filed by Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.
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