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SC Directs Airtel To Reconnect SMS Services To Aircel

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The Supreme Court has directed the Bharti Telecom to reconnect SMS services to the Aircel after the latter assured to pay the former termination charge of 10 paise per SMS.
"We direct the respondent (Airtel) to reconnect the SMS services to the appellants (Aircel) within 24 hours. This would be subject to the condition that within two weeks from today the appellants shall pay the arrears to the respondent in terms of demand letter dated October 25 and also pay at the rate of 10 paise per SMS from the date of reconnection of SMS services," a bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi said.
The court passed the order on 5 December on Aircel's plea challenging the 24 September order of the TDSAT, which had dismissed its plea against Bharti Telecom.
The bench, however, made it clear that the payment to be made by the appellants to the respondent would remain subject to final adjudication of the appeal.
SMS termination charges have been a contentious issue between new players and established players. Tata Teleservices has also appealed against Bharti Telecom's decision to charge 10 paise per SMS termination.
SMS termination charges are paid by an operator from whose network calls or SMSes originate to the one on whose they end.