Telecom operators Vodafone, Airtel and Idea Cellular today announced the reactivation of their intra-circle 3G roaming pact after the telecom panel allowed intra-circle roaming agreements (See: Telecom tribunal allows 3G roaming pacts).
All the three telecom service providers will resume 3G services in circles where they don't have spectrum through intra-circle roaming pacts with other operators.
Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular had signed the intra-circle 3G roaming agreement way back in 2011.
The agreement, however, was frozen following the Department of Telecom's order to stop 3G intra-circle roaming agreement under which they had also agreed to acquire customers in area where they did not win spectrum (Airtel rejects DoT demand for Rs650 cr 'roaming' fine).
This announcement comes after the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) ruling last week.
The TDSAT bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam has held that the 3G intra-circle agreement signed by Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular was not violative of licence agreement.
Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had since moved the TDSAT against DoT's order to stop 3G intra-circle roaming agreement.
Accordingly, Airtel has resumed 3G services in eight circles - Haryana, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kolkata and UP (East) from Monday.
The service is currently available for prepaid customers in these circles through various 3G roaming packs. It is expected to be rolled out shortly for post-paid customers shortly.
Airtel had won 3G spectrum in 13 circles in the latest auction.
Idea Cellular has resumed 3G services in 10 circles - Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kolkata and West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Assam and North East, which accounts for 25 per cent of its 137 million connections. Idea has made the services available for both prepaid and post-paid customers.
Idea Cellular has 3G spectrum in 12 circles, including Delhi where the telco had acquired 5 MHz of spectrum in the February 2014 spectrum auctions. It has now rolled out 3G services in 10 circles with plans to roll it out to Punjab and Delhi this financial year.
Vodafone India has resumed 3G services in 11 circles – Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh (West), Bihar, Assam and North East. The service are being made available for both prepaid and post-paid customers.
The telco has 3G spectrum in nine circles.
However, none of the three telcos have spectrum in the only remaining circle of Odisha while Aircel and Reliance Communications have 3G spectrum.