DoT rap for Bharti for ‘illegally’ routing long-distance calls

New Delhi: The department of telecommunications (DoT) has sought an explanation from Bharti Telenet (BTNL), the basic services arm of the Bharti group, for “illegally routing national long-distance calls” in violation of its licence and interconnect agreements.

In a notice sent to company, DoT noted that the company’s “unlicensed / unauthorised activities have been alleged to be causing not only a loss of revenue to other licensed operators, but may also pose a security threat to the nation.” This follows complaints by Bharat Sanchar Nigam that its telecom traffic in the Madhya Pradesh circle is being affected by BTNL’s violations.

The DoT notice states: “It is learnt that BTNL is illegally routing national long-distance calls originating from Bhopal to Vadodara, Pune, Bangalore etc via tandem exchanges (TAX) point of interconnection (PoI) at Indore, with manipulation of caller line identification (CLI) by adding 731 to clip from Bhopal, thereby circumventing the applicability of national routing plan and TRAI’s determination dated 15 June 2001 and also violating the terms and conditions of licence as well as interconnect agreement.

“It has also been complained that the calls to BTNL’s local numbers of Ujjain are being terminated outside Ujjain for operation of a call centre at Bhopal, thereby violating the numbering plan.” The tampering of CLI, it has added, “is detrimental to security. Such activities are a violation of Clause 14 in the main body of the licence agreement and conditions.”

In this connection DoT letter dated 13 August says” “regarding instructions for testing of PoIs between two operators may also be referred to wherein it was explicitly required that CLI shall not be tampered / suppressed by any service provider as CLI is required for security purposes and any violation of this requirement will amount to breach of security, for which senior executives of the company shall be held personally responsible.”

The reported activity is a contravention of this instruction, the letter notes. “In view of the above, you are requested to explain as to why action should not be taken for the reported violation of licence conditions and misuse of interconnect resources. Your letter should reach us positively within 15 days,” DoT stated.