India’s Reliance Communications (RCom) has barred start-up operator Etisalat DB from accessing its telecoms towers, alleging that the firm has not paid its leasing fees on time.

"Despite repeated reminders, payments have been inordinately delayed by EDB (Etisalat DB) without any reasonable cause," an RCom spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires.

A spokesperson for Etisalat DB confirmed that the operator is facing network disruption across India beginning this weekend, but claimed this was due to a "technical issue beyond our control" rather than a direct result of RCom’s action.

Etisalat DB is a joint-venture between UAE-based operator Etisalat and its local partner DB Realty, a real estate firm. According to the report, the operator is active in 15 of India's 22 telecom service circles.

It entered into a 10-year deal worth about US$2.2 billion to use RCom’s towers infrastructure in 2009.