India’s DoT may ask operators to end pacts with SingTel

The Economic Times

The Department of Telecom may ask two leading private operators — Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications — to terminate their contracts with Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), which was allegedly offering international long distance services here without a licence.

Foreign telcom firm SingTel, which has over 32 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel, may also attract a penalty for violating laws and offering services in India without having proper licence.

The move comes close to DoT’s plans to penalise other foreign telcos such as AT&T, British Telecom, Equant (France Telecom) and Verizon for illegally offering services before obtaining licences to operate in India.

The Indian operators Bharti Airtel and VSNL have entered into “illegal agreement” with SingTel by appointing them their agent to deal with Indian customers directly including billing for the services provided, DoT said in an internal note.

SingTel is the parent company of SingTel Global (India) Pvt Ltd, which has an ILD licence in India.

In their response to the DoT, SingTel however, has said that “SingTel does not provide any telecom services in India nor has acted in India as an independent telecom service provider at any point of time. SingTel does not provide any ILD services to any customers in India.”

SingTel has tied up with Bharti and Tata Communications (previously VSNL), two licensed ILD operators, to offer services.

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