Aug 30, 2012, 09.08 PM IST | Source: PTI

TDSAT allows Airtel's plea against TTSL

Telecom tribunal TDSAT today upheld the plea of Bharti Airtel claiming dues of Rs 287 crore from Tata Teleservices on account of SMS termination charges.

Telecom tribunal TDSAT today upheld the plea of Bharti Airtel claiming dues of Rs 287 crore from Tata Teleservices on account of SMS termination charges.

A Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) bench said that "prima-facie indicative of the fact that the charges are reasonable" and allowed the petition of Bharti Airtel.

A Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) bench said that "prima-facie indicative of the fact that the charges are reasonable" and allowed the petition of Bharti Airtel.

Termination charges are paid by an operator from whose network calls or SMSes originate to the one on whose network these communications end. These charges impact tariffs. The tribunal rejected the submission of Tata group firm that it was not liable to pay as there was a system of "bill and keep" in the sector and every player was following that norms.

Under this system, every one keeps a track on the SMS received and forwarded but there was no transaction, Tata group firm had contended, adding that Airtel was suddenly saying that as per the agreement between them, TTSL would have to pay.

The tribunal observed that Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) had "given a go-bye to the 'Bill and Keep' method by voluntarily entering into the aforementioned agreement dated September 4, 2009.

"Tata Teleservices never questioned the legality or validity of the said agreement. It had paid a sum of Rs six crores as on March 31, 2008. It itself raised invoices on the Petitioner (Airtel), which were honoured," the TDSAT said. The TDSAT also did not agree with the submission of TTSL that Airtel was resorting 'Bill and Keep' with other operators and hence it would be unreasonable to pay SMS charges in its case.

"The contention of TTSL that Bharti Airtel had resorted to 'bill and keep' method with other operators like Vodafone or BSNL is incorrect. If a big operator like Vodafone agreed to pay SMS charges at the rate of 10 paise, it is puerile to assume that it would become unreasonable in the case of the TTSL," said TDSAT.

It further said," TTSL had entered into a contract with its eyes wide open. It acted thereupon. It paid an amount of Rs six crores. It itself by way of reciprocity raised invoices on Airtel. By  way of an afterthought, it must have refunded the amount paid by it. The said contention of TTSL must, therefore, be rejected".

Bharti Airtel in November 2011 had moved TDSAT seeking a directive to Tata Teleservices on payment of Rs 287 crore towards termination charges for SMSes.

Bharti Airtel stock price

On April 17, 2014, Bharti Airtel closed at Rs 325.15, up Rs 1.85, or 0.57 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 373.50 and the 52-week low was Rs 274.50.


The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 14.07 per share as per the quarter ended December 2013. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 23.11. The latest book value of the company is Rs 135.70 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 2.40.

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