Bharti to stop 3G services in 7 areas
Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BHARTI), India’s largest wireless company, has been asked by the government to stop third-generation phone services in seven regions by March 18 for violating its license agreement, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The company has also been ordered to pay 3.5 billion rupees ($ 64.7 million) for allowing its customers to connect to a rivals network in areas including eastern part of Uttar Pradesh state, said one of the people who didn’t want to be identified before an official announcement. Bharti will appeal the order today in the High Court in New Delhi to seek a stay on the cancellation, the person said.
Bharti, Vodafone Group Plc. ( VOD) and Idea (IDEA) Cellular Ltd. entered into agreements after the 3G auction in 2010 that enabled the mobile- phone service providers to offer data services across the world’s seventhlargest landmass instead of operating only in the regions for which they won licenses. Bharti paid 1.6 billion rupees for the right to operate services in Mumbai and Delhi each. That compares with the reserve price of 35 billion rupees for an all-India permit.