Government of India has ordered country’s largest cellular player Bharti Airtel to stop providing 3G services in Kolkata, Maharastra, Uttar Pradesh East, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana and slapped with Rs 350 crore penalty.
Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular partnered to form an alliance to offer pan India 3G services, though none of them has pan India 3G spectrum. DoT tried to close this deal by the three telcos, but they didn’t follow the order rather questioned it.
Airtel had to move to Delhi High Court yesterday to get a stay order; the case hearing is on 18th. If Airtel can not get a relief order, it has to shut down 3G services in those 7 circles with immediate effect.
Similar orders are going to be landed on other partners of Airtel i.e. Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.
With the 3G roaming being cancelled, only operators providing high speed internet on pan India basis remain Reliance Communications (over CDMA EvDO) and Reliance Jio Infocomm (yet to launch 4G services).