The Department of Telecommunication believes that the telecom regulator’s recommendation to impose a combined penalty of Rs 3,050 crore on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular last October was based on weak grounds, sources have told CNBC-TV18’s Prerna Baruah.
In October, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had recommended that DoT take action against the three carriers for violating licence norms by denying sufficient points of interconnect to new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm.
It said the carriers’ actions appeared to be aimed at stifling competition and were against public interest. The action came after the regulator had issued showcause notices to three companies, seeking explanations for excessive call drops witnessed for calls between Jio and other networks.
But sources in DoT now say that Trai did not warn the telecom companies of the high penalty while issuing the showcause notices. They said that the ten days given for a response was not sufficient and that 90 days should have been given to the carriers to provide adequate interconnection points to Jio.