Airtel May Have to Halt 3G Services in 7 Circles

Mobile TowerIndia’s largest telecom carrier Bharti Airtel may have to stop offering 3G services in seven circles in the country where it does not own 3G spectrum.

The Delhi High court has vacated a stay order which permitted Airtel to operate 3G services in circles where it does not have spectrum license, according to a new report.

Airtel had gotten a stay order from the court against a telecom department order which banned the company from offering 3G services in circles which it does not own spectrum.

During the 3G spectrum auctions of 2012, the telecom operator won bids for only 13 circles out of the 22 circles in the country. for over $2.3 bn.

In places like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Kolkata, Airtel offers 3G services through agreements with rival Vodafone. However, with the stay order out of the way, Airtel may have to stop offering 3G services in these circles.

Airtel started rolling out 3G services in cities in 2011 and has also started rolling out 4G services in selected cities recently.

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