India fixed-line operator BSNL is moving to disconnect telecom services to three private mobile operators in the country’s Haryana circle due to an interconnect fee dispute.
The three affected mobile operators are Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, Outlook India said. BSNL's landline subscribers will be unable to establish links with the trio's mobile customers. Customers of the three operators are also unable to call BSNL fixed lined numbers.
The move follows earlier efforts to pull PoIs from private operators in other circles, in a decision that is being appealed in the TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal).
The dispute arose because BSNL wanted the private operators to pay 0.65-0.80 rupees ($0.013 to $0.016) a minute while the private operators backed a lower rate of 0.15 rupees a minute.
BSNL had on September 30 restored services to Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices due to a petition filed by Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices.
The TDSAT had ruled that BSNL restore services and private operators continue to pay the rate they had been paying from July 2010 - but BSNL only restored connections to Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices on the grounds that the two private operators were the only ones who had filed the appeal.
Private operators body COAI has come out strong against BSNL, saying the fixed-line operator had continued disconnection on the pretext that Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular were not part of the TDSAT petition.
BSNL claims the private operators owe it interconnect fees covering the Haryana circle totaling some 27 million rupees - including 980,000 rupees from Vodafone, 810,000 rupees from Airtel and 920,000 rupees from Idea.