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What is Aircel, Airtel and Vodafone dispute and how does it effect consumer?

New Delhi, Sat, 24 Nov 2012 NI Wire

Airtel, Aircel and Vodafone are disputing on an inter-connection usage charges. This termination charges are paid by an operator on whose SMSs originate to the one on whose network these communications end.

First Bharti Airtel stopped its SMS service with Aircel on November 9. It had demanded a termination charge of 10 paise per SMS. Aircel didn’t paid it but challenged Bharti Airtel in the Supreme Court saying that the burden will be too huge to bear.

Later Vodafone too stopped SMS service with Aircel. It had demanded Rs 40 crore as SMS termination fee plus applicable tax for the period between April 2011 and September 2012.

Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) then directed Aircel to pay SMS termination fee of 5 paise per message to Vodafone till the matter is finally resolved

It also ordered Vodafone to immediately restore its interconnection of SMSs generated on Aircel's network.

Final hearing for the matter will be held on January 10, 2013.

This dispute has an affect on consumer as well. If Aircel agrees to pay the termination charges (irrespective of the amount), it will affect the tariff charges, which will have to be paid by its users.

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