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Vodafone, Idea penalised; asked to stop intra-circle 3G roaming

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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) today sent notices to telecom firms Vodafone and Idea Cellular to stop their 3G intra-circle roaming pacts with immediate effect in the circles where they did not have licences.

A penalty of Rs 550 crore has been imposed on Vodafone, while a Rs 300 crore penalty has been imposed on Idea.

The DoT had on March 15 slapped a Rs 350 crore notice on Bharti Airtel, India's leading telecom service provider, on the same grounds.

Bharti Airtel then approached the Delhi High Court, which issued a stay order on the DoT directive. The court had also said Bharti would not have to pay the penalty immediately. However, this stay order was lifted yesterday by a division bench of High Court.

The Supreme Court will now take up Bharti's case on Monday.

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