India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has retroactively launched an investigation into the sale of push-to-talk (PTT) services by mobile operator Hutchison Telecommunications in 2004/05, in an attempt to ascertain whether the operator was offering the service illegally. Hutch launched PTT over its GPRS and EDGE data platforms in 2004, but stopped selling the service in early 2005 after the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ruled that its operating licence did not cover PTT. The DoT has now asked Hutch to explain its actions, and the operator could face a significant fine if it is found to have operated without permission. Hutch’s rival Tata Teleservices is currently appealing against a penalty imposed upon it by the DoT after it was similarly ruled to be offering PTT illegally.
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