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Vodafone, Loop settle dispute, restore calls

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 - 7:45am IST | Agency: DNA

Telecom major Vodafone India and Loop Mobile were able to resolve their issue on Tuesday, after disruption in calls between the two telecom networks a day before affected millions of users.

"The issue has been resolved and the services are up and we were able to settle the issue with Vodafone," Loop's spokesperson, Shalini Gupta told dna. The company also issued a statement to its users stating that the services were due to a financial disagreement between Loop Mobile and Vodafone.

On Monday, Vodafone blocked incoming calls from Loop Mobile users saying that the latter had delayed payment of interconnect fees. The telecom major had said these payments from Loop were long overdue, forcing it to restrict calls. As per TRAI guidelines, an operator on whose network a call is generated needs to pay 10 paise per minute as call-termination, or interconnect, charge to the operator of the network where it ends.

Both the telecom companies did not reveal the amount that was due for the payment. An official from Loop Mobile requesting anonymity said that Vodafone, could have dealt with the issue differently and avoided a strong stand. Their action maligned Loop's brand among the customers of both the companies.

"It was a financial disagreement. Our customers were inconvenienced. Everything has been settled with Vodafone now, so the services have come back on the track."

Vodafone spokesperson, Suresh Rangarajan, was unavailable for a comment despite repeated attempts.

Loop has no plans to take the issue to the telecom regulator. Whether there was any breach of telecom law was not clear yet but a senior official at Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said: "We have to understand under what circumstances Vodafone took this step and thereafter how many subscribers were actually affected by that."

Loop, has over 3 million users in Mumbai. Loop Mobile is in the process of transferring its assets and customer base to Bharti Airtel, under a strategic agreement announced in February. Although Airtel did not share the amount of the deal but industry sources estimated the deal to around Rs 700 crore.

Vodafone is Mumbai's largest mobile phone operator by subscribers and India's second largest. Bharti is India's largest, but trails Vodafone in the financial capital. It hopes to go past Vodafone after integrating Loop's subscriber base.




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