Bharti to be denied hearing on SLD issue

8 Jul 2013

Indian regulator the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) is expected to deny Bharti Airtel a hearing regarding an INR650 million (USD10.64 million) fine for allowing subscribers to make long-distance calls at local rates to bypass roaming charges, the Economic Times reports. Bharti claims that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had approved the practice, known as Subscriber Local Dialling (SLD), in 2003 and should be given the opportunity to explain its actions. However, an internal note from the DoT was quoted as saying: ‘The issue has been examined by DoT and TRAI also. Further opportunity [for appeal] again is not desirable. The legal advisor has pointed out that Bharti Airtel’s request, if granted, will perpetuate further delay in the matter.’