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Airtel blocks SMS from Reliance and Aircel

New Delhi, Nov 12  () : Airtel has decided to block messages (SMS) from Reliance and Aircel to Airtel since yesterday.

Airtel which is the No 1 mobile operator in the country has been accused by the other operators of having taken the decision when the case over the termination charges of SMS is pending before the Supreme Court. They also allege that this move just before Diwali is a pressure tactic to make the telecom comapnies to pay up.

The fight between Airtel and Aircel dates back to November 2011. Airtel asked Aircel to pay 10 paise as termination charge for each SMS sent from their network to Airtel customer. It then raised a bill of Rs 20 crore for 7 months starting April 2011 to October and asked Aircel to pay up by November end.

Aircel owned by Maxis, the Malaysian company took the matter before the telecom dispute tribunal- TDSAT saying it was an arbitrary move. TDSAT’s verdict favoured Airtel owned by Mittal. Aircel then moved the Supreme court where the case is pending.

Even as the case is pending, Airtel asked Aircel and RCOM (the Reliance company which operates GSM and CDMA in many States) to sign an agreement for the inter termination charges but both these operators did not do so.

According to them, the recent move by Airtel is that the two telecom companies were jamming the network with free SMS/spam messages and this was affecting their own services. In the interest of their customers, they have decided to block all SMS from these two operators.

These operators now say that there was no such move on their part and since Diwali time sees a lot of SMS traffic they are trying to blackmail them into paying up. Reliance and Aircel say that as the case is pending in the court, the action of Airtel is a blatant violation of the court powers and would move a contempt of court plea.

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