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Bharti Airtel to End 3G Roaming Deals

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India's Bharti Airtel has outlined plans to invest USD3 billion during this financial year, and also said that it plans to end its national roaming agreement with rival 3G network operators.

Airtel has a roaming agreement with Vodafone and Idea in a number of circles across the country, but plans to terminate them by the end of this financial year, with the exception of roaming in Kerala.

The roaming covered areas where Airtel lacked radio spectrum from the original 3G spectrum auction, but has since boosted its spectrum holdings and is now just waiting for regulatory permission to launch services.

"We are waiting for spectrum to be allocated. Definitely before the year goes out we will be rolling out 3G in our gap circles and consequently we will phase out 3G ICR," Bharti Airtel CFO for India Nilanjan Roy said in an earnings call.

The decision also ends a controversial dispute where the government tried to argue that the roaming agreements were illegal. Mobile networks have been in dispute with the government ever since the roaming services were launched.

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Tags: bharti airtel  roaming  India