The telecom tribunal has asked Tata Teleservices (TTSL) to pay 5 paise termination fee for every SMS delivered onto Vodafone India's network, half of the 10 paise per SMS demanded by the latter, till the dispute is resolved.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) also directed Vodafone not to block TTSL's SMSes terminating on its network. The tribunal also directed Vodafone to restore SMSes connectivity, in case it has already blocked them.
The companies will now have resolve the issue among themselves.
Vodafone has been seeking a termination charge of 10 paise per SMS from TTSL, compared with zero termination charges, a move that prompted the Tata group company to move TDSAT.
Every operator charges a fee, called termination charges, from other service providers for using their networks to terminate voice calls or text messages.
Vodafone has sought a termination fee of 10 paise per SMS from April 2011. On November 7, Vodafone had issued a notice to TTSL asking it to pay Rs188 crore as SMS termination fee by 17 November, failing which it would block its network for SMS traffic.
On Friday TDSAT directed Aircel to pay SMS termination fee of 5 paise per message to Vodafone India (See: Vodafone-Aircel dispute on SMS resolved). Vodafone is the second operator to block Aircel's SMS on its network with Bharti Airtel blocking SMS from Aircel since November 9, four days before Diwali.
Bharti Airtel, the country's largest telecom operator by subscribers, had also blocked text messages from Reliance Communications (RCom) on its network. The New Delhi-based firm had alleged the two operators of spamming its network with ''free SMSes''.
The network was re-opened to RCom subscribers following an interim TDSAT order, with the case coming up for hearing again on November 27. However, connectivity between Bharti Airtel and Aircel is yet to be resolved.