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Oct 19, 2011, 08.29 AM IST
GSM operators' body COAI today said state-run BSNL has disconnected the services of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular from its network in Maharashtra and Goa circles from last Friday on non-payment of charges.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said BSNL defied the ruling of the appellate tribunal and disconnected PoIs (Points-of-Interconnection that connect networks of telecom operators with each other) of private operators in Maharashtra and Goa circles on Friday, October 14, claiming non-payment of interconnect usage charges (IUC).
IUC is paid by one operator to the other for using its network to complete calls and send SMSes.
"Private operators continue to suffer in the hands of BSNL as the state-owned telecom service provider continued disconnections in the face of TDSAT orders clearly instructing the organisation to act otherwise," COAI said in a statement.
It said that the TDSAT order, passed on September 30, had clearly stated that the operators shall continue to pay intra-circle carriage charges to BSNL at the same rate that they had been paying since July, 2010. It further indicated
The association said that BSNL has faced public outrage in several areas recently on having disconnected emergency services, causing harassment to the users and restored the services thereafter.
"We expect BSNL to act responsibly in the interest of consumers and take serious consideration of the extreme hardships of the customers due to misguided technicality," Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI said.
He added that private operators have been paying their dues completely as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's regulations, and such discriminatory action on part of BSNL is unwarranted.
When contacted, a senior official at BSNL did not deny the disconnections and said, "Operators in question have outstanding dues."
BSNL is claiming outstanding dues of Rs 165 crore for interconnect usage charges (IUC) from the private operators.
BSNL is claiming IUC at the rate of 65 paise per minute for such calls from all the private operators. However, the operators are insisting on paying 15 paise per minute.
In September, BSNL disconnected PoIs of RCom, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and TTSL in Punjab circle.
Tags: GSM operators, COAI, BSNL, Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Goa circles, Maharashtra, non-payment charges
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