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Vodafone settles dispute with Loop, to restore calls in Mumbai

PTI 17 Jun 2014, 22:13:41 IST
PTI
New Delhi: Within 24 hours of blocking incoming calls from Loop Telecom users in Mumbai, Vodafone today said it is restoring their connection to its network as the two companies have reached a settlement on interconnection charges.

“We have reached an agreement for payment settlement with Loop Mobile. Accordingly the connection is being restored,” a Vodafone spokesperson said.

Yesterday, Vodafone has blocked incoming calls from Loop, which has over 3 million users in Mumbai.  The telecom major said these payments from Loop were long overdue, forcing it to restrict calls.

A Loop Mobile spokesperson said: “Loop Mobile regrets the inconvenience caused to subscribers in Mumbai. This was due to a financial disagreement between Loop Mobile and Vodafone which has now been resolved. The voice calling services shall start shortly.”

As per sectoral regulator Trai, a mobile operator on whose network a call originates has to pay charges to the telecom company on whose network the call terminates.  The current termination charge is 10 paisa a minute.  Vodafone is Mumbai's largest operator by subscribers currently. Loop Mobile is in the process of transferring its assets and customers to Bharti Airtel, under a strategic agreement announced in February. Although Airtel did not share the amount of the deal but industry sources estimated it to be worth Rs 700 crore.

Vodafone India had blocked incoming calls from Loop Mobile customers to its network in Mumbai for non-payment of interconnection charges.

As per sectoral regulator Trai, a mobile operator on whose network a call originates has to pay charges to the telecom company on whose network the call terminates.

The current termination charge is 10 paisa a minute.

“Incoming calls from Loop mobile are temporarily restricted, due to non-payment of interconnect dues by Loop Mobile,” Vodafone India spokesperson said.

Vodafone said these payments were long overdue and it was forced to do this (restriction of calls).

The spokesperson, however, did not specify the amount due to Loop Mobile.

When contacted a Loop Mobile spokesperson said that the company is trying to resolve the matter.

Vodafone is Mumbai's largest operator by subscribers currently. Loop Mobile is in the process of transferring its assets and customers to Bharti Airtel, under a strategic agreement announced in February. Although Airtel did not share the amount of the deal but industry sources estimated it to be worth Rs 700 crore.

Loop has over 3 million subscribers in Mumbai.