Indian Networks Permitted to Resume 3G Roaming Pacts
Published on: 2nd May 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Agreements between Indian mobile networks to offer 3G roaming where they lack coverage have been approved by the Telecoms Tribunal which also criticized the government for trying to ban them.
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.
Those three networks signed roaming agreements with each other, but the government objected claiming they were forbidden. The networks appealed, citing previous statements that such roaming agreements would be allowed, and that GSM roaming is normal.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) agreed with the mobile networks, and also scrapped the penalties imposed by the Department of Telecom on the mobile networks for its claimed infringements of the regulations.
However, the government can appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, and is expected to do that, so the matter is still not formally closed.