The Department of Telecom (DoT) decided to levy 650 crore Rupees penalty on Airtel for violating licence conditions. The DoT came to conclusion that Airtel made use of call routing system which led to huge losses to exchequer.
Background of the Case
The Airtel case is from 2003 when Airtel offered the customers Subscriber Local Dialling service. As per the Subscriber Local Dialling service, a subscriber can get all the calls as local call even while on roaming. This meant that a subscriber from Delhi while travelling to Mumbai could get incoming calls like that of local calls instead of roaming.
DoT explained that the call, in such a case, should be routed first to Delhi on national long distance network and later on, be brought back to Mumbai. Airtel, instead routed the call to Mumbai only, which led bypassing of long distance network, which is against the licence conditions. This led to loss of revenue to the Government in lower licence fee form from long distance operations.