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Dec.03,2004 Rs 84.7 cr pay to BSNL by Reliance : SC
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday order to Reliance Infocomm to pay up a balance Rs 84.7 crore to BSNL for the claim of Rs 182.7 crore made by it for using the Home Country Direct services thereby routing the international calls as local ones. The Court set aside the interim order of the High Court and directed Reliance to pay up the balance of the demand within four weeks. The Court said Reliance will comply with its undertaking before the High Court to correct the caller line identification (CLI) problem pointed out by BSNL. Reliance agreed to do it immediately.
Nov.22, 2004 Now DoT cells monitor grey calls
Intensifying surveillance on grey calls, Department of Telecom has set up four Vigilance Telecom Monitoring Cells to detect illegal long distance calls besides extending a toll-free number to facilitate the general public to give information about such calls.

These cells at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad besides monitoring the operators to check the grey calls, will also ensure that the license conditions are fully complied with, an official statement said.

The toll free numbers are -

1600-110-420 and 011-2373-1100

DoT is also separately making arrangements in various countries to generate decoy calls for identification of such cases. Necessary instructions have also been issued to all service providers to alert the general public about this phenomenon.

Following incidences like the current alleged diversion of international calls as local ones by Reliance Infocomm and reports of grey calls from India to Nepal as also within the country, DoT has taken these initiatives on the direction of IT and Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran.

Grey call is one where the receiver sees on his cell through the Calling Line Identification Presentation (CLIP) facility a local or national number while the call is originated from outside India.

In such a case, anyone can note down the number as it appeared on the CLIP and immediately report the same on the above toll free numbers, the statement said.

So far, 33 cases of illegal exchanges have been detected in various parts of the country this year, it said.

Though the calls made through such illegal means were of poor speech quality, they bring heavy loss of revenue to the government and service providers. Also, since the identification of the caller is not available, such calls can be used by economic offenders, drug traffickers.

Nov. 10,2004 Private telcos gather info on Reliance's 'local' calls
All private telecom operators are now collecting data on Reliance’s ISD calls passed on as local calls in their networks.

This follows a notice by BSNL to all the private operators, seeking information on Reliance’s ISD calls. Private operators have agreed to provide data as per the licence agreement.

Last month, BSNL conducted the same exercise for Reliance’s ISD calls terminating in its own network. A private operator said it had no option but to part with such information to BSNL.

ILD operators have to pay an access deficit charge (ADC) of Rs 4.50 per minute on all ISD calls. Private operators have around 40m subscribers. “Our future course of action depends on data collected from private operators,” said AK Sinha, chairman and MD, BSNL.

Reliance officials, however, refused to comment, saying the matter was sub-judice.
BSNL and MTNL have more than 40m subscribers.

They have jointly raised a demand of close to Rs 550 crore as dues on Reliance for passing ISD calls as local calls.

The interconnect agreement between BSNL and the private operators’ has a provision of imposing ADC on all calls, whether local or long distance, transmitting through an exchange if a company is found passing long distance calls as local calls.

If the same formula is applied in the case of calls terminating on private operators’ network, then the total dues could be in hundreds of crores, said an observer.

Reliance, however, maintains that it has not violated any licence condition. In its meeting with BSNL and DoT, company officials said the dispute is basically about the interpretation of licence agreement.

It has said it was only offering home call direct (HCD) service, which is certified by the ITU, and is offered by many operators in various countries. The existing licence does not bar operators from allowing this service. BSNL, however, says there was no agreement for HCD services.

Last week, BSNL barred Reliance’s calls from its network for non-payment of dues. The Delhi High Court later directed BSNL to maintain status quo on the issue. The case will come up for hearing on November 30.

News Courtesy : The Economic Times
Nov. 05,04
BSNL Vs RIM: Carry on calling

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today asked state-owned BSNL to maintain a status quo on the question of interconnect agreement with Reliance Infocomm, which has been accused by the public sector giant of routing international calls as local ones.

The direction came from a Bench of Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Anil Kumar who directed Reliance Infocomm to deposit Rs 40 crore with BSNL by Monday (November 8).

The division Bench, which heard an appeal by Reliance Infocomm against yesterday's order by a single judge Bench, asked BSNL to file its reply to the private telecom operator's appeal and posted the matter for further hearing on November 30.

In an interim order, the Court also directed Reliance to file an affidavit confirming that it has stopped routing of international calls as local ones with wrong Caller Line Identification (CLI).

When contacted, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director A K Sinha told PTI "we shall abide by the High Court order."

Asked about BSNL's future course of action, he said "we will examine the court judgement and then decide our next plan."

The Department of Telecom had last month issued a show cause notice to Reliance Infocomm asking why a penalty should not be imposed on it for violating the terms and conditions of the licence.

Reliance Infocomm had submitted its reply to DoT's show cause notice on October 20 and the department was yet to take a decision.

Meanwhile, a Reliance Infocomm statement said "we had filed an appeal before the Division Bench of Delhi High Court against the order of the single judge refusing interim relief. The division bench of the Court has directed BSNL to maintain status quo and asked Reliance to deposit a further amount of Rs 40 crore. The matter is subjudice." 

News Courtesy : The Economic Times

Nov. 05,04
Calling BSNL from RIM? Sorry, no service.......

Armed with a Delhi High Court order in its favour, Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) on Thursday started snapping Reliance’s links from its networks in large parts of the country.

It on Thursday disconnected Reliance ’s links in India’s silicon valley, Bangalore, and Nasik. “If Reliance does not pay its dues by Friday, we will disconnect its points of interconnection in other parts of the country,” said NK Mangla, director (marketing and commercial), BSNL.

This means a Reliance network subscriber will not be able to talk to a BSNL subscriber and vice versa. BSNL and MTNL jointly have a subscriber base of over 50m, while Reliance has an all India sub
scriber base of 9m. In Bangalore, BSNL has a subscriber base of over 1m.

Different field units of BSNL have slapped dues on Reliance totalling Rs 255 crore. MTNL has imposed a fine of another Rs 250 core on Reliance. Encouraged by the court order, MTNL officials were also contemplating action against Reliance. “We will get a complete report in the next four days and then take appropriate action,” an MTNL official said.

Reacting to the Delhi High Court judgement, a Reliance spokesperson said the company will appeal to a larger bench on Friday.

Even though the total fine imposed on Reliance by BSNL is only Rs 255 crore as on date, it could be higher as some of the field units have not yet sent demand notices to the company. “I have given full freedom to the field units to raise demand and take appropriate action,” said AK Sinha, chairman and MD, BSNL. He said that this was also a signal to other operators to not indulge in such operations. BSNL has about 400 field units.

BSNL and MTNL had caught Reliance passing ISD calls as local calls which had led to the public sector carriers sending notices demanding access deficit charge (ADC).

The operators have to pay an ADC of Rs 4.50 per minute on ISD calls. The interconnect agreement has a provision of imposing ADC on all calls, whether local or long distance, transmitting through an exchange if a company is found passing long distance calls as local calls.

Therefore, the two government companies have imposed dues totalling Rs 500 crore.

All the telecom networks are interconnected with each other so that subscribers in one network can talk to subscribers in other networks. If a telecom operator’s network is disconnected with that of BSNL’s, it will be like an island and its subscribers will be cut off from more than 50% of the total subscribers in the country.

“Reliance’s network in Bangalore was disconnected as it had to pay some earlier dues,” said Mr Mangla. However, sources said BSNL is now putting pressure on Reliance on paying the dues.

Earlier, Reliance had made an interim payment of Rs 60 crore to BSNL as dues. Reliance had done so under protest saying that it was only offering home direct services, which are offered by a number of operators abroad.

News Courtesy : The Economic Times

Nov. 04,04 High Court dismisses Reliance Info petition
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed Reliance Infocomm's petition seeking to restrain BSNL from disconnecting its points of interconnection for the private telecom operator's failure to pay Rs 254 crore for routing international calls as local ones.

The order came from Justice Vikramjit Sen.

Reliance Infocomm had earlier moved the High Court on the call routing row with BSNL seeking to restrain the state-run telecom giant from imposing a Rs 254-crore demand and had pleaded that the matter be referred to an arbitrator.

News Courtesy : The Economic Times
Nov. 04,04 Reliance Info takes BSNL to HC over call routing row
NEW DELHI: In a new twist to the Reliance Infocomm-BSNL controversy over routing of international calls as local, Reliance on Wednesday asked the Delhi HC seeking to restrain BSNL from imposing the Rs 254 crore demand and pleaded that the matter be referred to an arbitrator.

On the other hand, BSNL stated that Reliance should have gone to the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) instead of going to the HC as the tribunal has the jurisdiction — both original as well as appellate — in the matter. After hearing both the parties, justice Vikramjit Sen reserved the order.

BSNL had imposed a financial bill of Rs 182 crore till October 29, which has gone up to Rs 254 crore up to November 2. This bill does not include any penalty, but the actual amount due to BSNL.

The DoT issued a show-cause notice to Reliance, asking why appropriate action, including imposition of the penalty of Rs 50 crore should not be taken against it for violation of terms and conditions of the licence.

Reliance had given its reply on October 20, but the DoT has not yet taken any decision this regard. BSNL also informed the court that Reliance still continues to tamper with the caller line identification.

News Courtesy : The Economic Times

Nov. 02,04 Pvt operators asked to track ILD calls thru Reliance
BSNL has advised the operators to check the incoming traffic from May onwards.

BSNL has asked all private telecom service providers to check the records of all international long-distance (ILD) calls coming through Reliance Infocomm's network for any illegal routing of calls.

The company has advised the operators to check the incoming traffic from May onwards.

BSNL had blown the whistle last month on Reliance Infocomm after it found that the private operator's network was being used to route ILD calls illegally.

It has asked Reliance to pay up for the losses and has also served disconnection notice to it in at least 30 cities, including Chennai, Mumbai and Pune.

BSNL has asked Reliance to immediately pay the access deficit charges on the illegal calls or face disconnection.

According to BSNL's complaint, Reliance was routing ILD calls and terminating them on BSNL's fixed-line network as if they were local calls.

The company has alleged that Reliance was bringing ILD traffic into the country and then changing the caller line identification number to pass it on to BSNL's telephones as if the calls were originating from less than 50 km.

In a letter on October 21, BSNL has requested all cellular and fixed-line operators to check the traffic data for calls that have been routed through Reliance Infocomm's ILD network.

The Department of Telecom had also sent a notice to Reliance Infocomm seeking explanation of the licence violation. To avoid any disconnection, Reliance had made an interim payment to BSNL till the issue is resolved.

News Courtesy : Business Line

30th Oct, 04
BSNL to slap Rs 200 cr bill on Reliance
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is likely to send a detailed bill of around Rs 200 crore to Reliance Infocomm for allegedly routing international long distance (ILD) calls as local calls resulting in a revenue loss to the state-owned operator. 
The bill, which is expected to be dispatched shortly, will give Reliance Infocomm a week to clear the dues. BSNL proposes to disconnect the points of interconnections (PoIs) in case Reliance does not meet the deadline, a senior BSNL executive told Business Standard. 
“Our circles have finalised their due amounts. We will send the bills to Reliance today or tomorrow,” an executive said. BSNL’s total dues on Reliance had been pegged at Rs 120 crore initially. 
BSNL telecom circles, in which illegal routing of calls were reported, will send their due statements to Reliance directly. Earlier, the company planned to send a consolidated bill from the corporate office. 
On October 14, Reliance Infocomm had made an interim payment of over Rs 60 crore, including Rs 58 crore payment through demand drafts at the BSNL headquarters to get the point of interconnections(POIs) restored. The state-owned operator had resorted to disconnection at certain locations in Kolkata, Pune, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. But the points were restored after Reliance made the payment.  
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd had also alleged such misrouting of calls by Reliance in Delhi and Mumbai. MTNL officials had said that they were reviewing the situation. 

News Courtesy : Business Standard

23th Oct, 04
MTNL too in ILD row with Reliance
MUMBAI: Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) is embroiled in a dispute with private sector telecom major Reliance Infocomm over alleged illegal routing of international long distance (ILD) calls by the latter, to save on the access deficit charges (ADC) payable to the public sector telecom service provider.

The dispute with MTNL, which provides basic and cellular services in Delhi and Mumbai, comes after Reliance paid Rs 58 crore to Bharat Sanchar Nigam after similar allegations were made by the latter.

MTNL sources said that a notice had been issued to Reliance Info two weeks ago, asking them to pay up a sum of Rs 138 crore within 15 days or face disconnection.

"The deadline expired yesterday (October 22) and Reliance has not responded to the notice or made any payments," sources said. The sources could not say whether MTNL will actually cut off Reliance Infocomm subscribers.

MTNL claims that Reliance owes it Rs 138 crore each in Mumbai and Delhi towards unpaid ADC on international calls that were routed illegally through the national long distance (NLD) route.

When contacted, a Reliance Infocomm spokesperson refused to comment. MTNL officials also declined to speak on record.

The allegation is that Reliance Infocomm had disguised ILD calls as NLD calls to save on ADC. ADC charges are paid to the two public sector telecom majors to enable them to subsidise rural and low income consumers.

If Reliance Infocomm does not take any action on Saturday, and if MTNL does disconnect its points of interconnection with the private telecom major, it will inconvenience both Reliance Info and MTNL subscribers in Mumbai and Delhi who will not be able to connect to each other.

"Reliance Info’s subscribers will not be able to connect to us and BSNL too," MTNL sources pointed out.

Reliance Info had paid Rs 58 crore as an interim arrangement to BSNL earlier when the latter had threatened disconnection over the same issue. Reliance had earlier claimed that the total payments due to BSNL should not exceed Rs 30 crore as per the audited figures.

According to the current regulations, an ADC of Rs 4.30 per minute has to be paid to the fixed line operators for an incoming international call.

The department of telecom (DoT) had given Reliance Infocomm time till October 20 to explain why a penalty should not be imposed on them for violating the licence agreement.

What is interesting is that BSNL’s claim for illegal routing of calls across the whole country is expected to be in the region of Rs 200 crore while MTNL is claiming about Rs 276 crore for calls from the top two metros.

Sources said that the traffic from these two centres was significantly higher than that from any other city in the country.

News Courtesy : The Economic Times

15th Oct, 2004 DoT may slap Rs 50-cr penalty per license on Reliance Infocomm — Co found flouting ILD norms

News Courtesy :  Business Line


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