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The Bharti Telecom has been directed by the Supreme Court to reconnect SMS services to the Aircel after the latter assured to pay the former termination charge of 10 paise per SMS.

A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi said, “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”

The court passed the order on December 5 on Aircel’s plea challenging the September 24 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.

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