NEW DELHI: TRAI has slapped a fine of Rs 3,050 crore on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. The decision to impose fines on the two companies was approved by the Digital Communication Commission (DCC), the apex governing body of the Department of Telecommunications, on Wednesday. "The DCC has approved the recommendation of telecom regulator TRAI to impose fines on Airtel and Vodafone Idea," Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said in a briefing.
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Now, the DCC will send the same recommendation to the competent authority of the Government. In fact, TRAI had recommended a total penalty of Rs 3,050 crore on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea in October 2016 for refusing to provide interconnectivity to Reliance Jio. Airtel and Vodafone were fined Rs 1050 crore each.
Vodafone and Idea have now merged. At that time, TRAI had not recommended the cancellation of licences of these companies because it could cause great inconvenience to the customers. The said recommendation of TRAI came after Jio's complaint. Jio had said that 75% of its calls were failing due to non-obituaries by the three telecom companies.
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The Digital Communications Commission had decided last month to impose fines on Airtel and Vodafone Idea, but it had decided to seek TRAI's opinion on the number of fines once again in view of the prevailing situation in the telecom sector. But the TRAI also reiterated its earlier opinion this time and justified the fine of Rs.3050.
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