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Vodafone Warns 3G Roaming Ban Could Undermine Investor Confidence

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Vodafone has warned that plans to ban 3G national roaming within India and fine the operators that had offered it would undermine investor's confidence in the industry.

Vodafone has written a reply to a show-cause notice demanding explanations as to why fines shouldn't be applied, stating that future radio spectrum auctions would be threatened by the regulatory uncertainty the issue has raised.

The issue of 3G roaming has been a heated one ever since the Telecoms Department told the mobile networks to stop allowing roaming between their circles, although they contend that they were explicitly permitted to to that during the 3G license auction.

Airtel, Idea and Vodafone each bought licenses in most of the country's 22 "circles", but where they lack a license, they offered roaming onto a rival network that did have coverage in the specific circle.

In the May 2010 auction, Vodafone secured licenses in 9 of the country's 22 circles, while Airtel secured 13 licenses, Idea has 11 and Tata gained 9 licenses.

For example, Vodafone and Airtel can provide coverage in Delhi, but Tata and Idea cannot. The situation is reversed in Kerala though.

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Tags: vodafone  roaming  India