Mumbai: Telecom tribunal TDSAT has rejected basic service provider Bharti Telenet's petition and directed the company to route all its long-distance (STD) call traffic through Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) from the point of origin.
Bharti, in its petition, had contended that it was entitled to use its own network for carrying long distance call traffic up to the available points - that it may use its own interconnectivity to the farthest possible point. This could have resulted in huge savings to the company on payment of interconnection charges to BSNL.
While Bharti Telenet, a sister concern of telecom major Airtel, has licence to provide basic telephone services in Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, the interconnectivity agreement clearly states that state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) would continue to provide national and intercircle links to the customers of Bharti Telenet.
Under the agreement, Bharti was also connecting calls made by its subscribers to the BSNL's network on revenue sharing basis. However, a dispute arose over the terms and conditions of the agreement and Bharti asserted its right to use its network to the maximum. The company claimed that it was entitled to carry all calls made by its subscribers to the end points on its network before transferring it. BSNL opposed the stance, claiming breach of contract.
Bharti first approached telecom regulator TRAI, but the telecom regulator favoured BSNL, saying that the state-run telecom giant was working in accordance with the licence agreement. Bharti then moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which also rejected its petition.
Although Bharti approached the Supreme Court, the issue was sent back to TDSAT.