Tata Docomo and Aircel Terminate 3G Roaming Deal

Tata DOCOMO, the unified telecom brand of Tata Teleservices and AIRCEL the fifth largest mobile service provider today called off their mutual agreement for Intra circle 3G Roaming services.

According to our sources, both operator ended the deal soon after the Government/Department of Telecom said that such 3G ICRA or arrangements were illegal. 3G Roaming arrangement between Tata Docomo and Aircel was operational since July 19th, 2011 as we reported earlier.

Few days back the Telecom Ministry also said it will soon take action against service providers that have entered into roaming agreements for 3G services, as the pacts violate licence terms and conditions.

Apart from the Tata Docomo and Aircel, leading private telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and IDEA Cellular had also entered into ICRA for providing a 3G roaming service on a pan-India basis but have not pulled back the 3G service so far till the time.

The current 3G / UAS /CMTS licence terms and conditions allow operators to go in for Roaming agreements to enable their subscribers to get seamless mobile network coverage as they move from one circle to other circle in India wherein they doesn’t have any network/spectrum or services.

But in 3G services, all private operators are selling their 3G products and new connections even in circles where they do not have 3G spectrum/licence. Operators having 3G spectrum pay higher revenue share in the form of ‘ 3G spectrum usage fee’, and the DoT is concerned about allegations of alleged revenue losses to the exchequer because of these pacts.

Presently on state run telecom operators BSNL and MTNL providing pan India 3G services with all legal terms and conditions of 3G licence.

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  • Pavan August 24, 2012 9:37 am

    I’m still able to access Aircel 3G network in TATA DOCOMO.

  • Apna December 27, 2011 4:06 am

    Good move sibal. You prove sometimes u can act for public good. But Aircel Tata will now limit giving donations for poll campaign. Without big money for poll campaign from these companies how UPA can come to power next time.

    May be there is some other policy decision coming from UPA for compensating this loss.

    People will only vote for those who big money for poll campaign. And for poll campaign any party need big donations from business houses. In turn while in government they will help the companies make much more money they have donated to the party. So it is only fare on part of Aircel Tata to expect UPA to payback. Hope UPA will keep its promises to it donors.

    (posting again as mistyped Airtel for Aircel)

  • Apna December 27, 2011 4:04 am

    Good move sibal. You prove sometimes u can act for public good. But Airtel Tata will now limit giving donations for poll campaign. Without big money for poll campaign from these companies how UPA can come to power next time.

    May be there is some other policy decision coming from UPA for compensating this loss.

    People will only vote for those who big money for poll campaign. And for poll campaign any party need big donations from business houses. In turn while in government they will help the companies make much more money they have donated to the party. So it is only fare on part of Airtel Tata to expect UPA to payback. Hope UPA will keep its promises to it donors.

  • dskushwaha December 23, 2011 5:56 pm

    But Selling 3G services & products in location where the service are registered, are not called roaming. It is illegal. And I support DOT’s move.

    Please amend the above para as:
    But Selling 3G services & products in location where the service are NOTregistered, are not called roaming. It is illegal. And I support DOT’s move.

  • dskushwaha December 23, 2011 5:51 pm

    suresh :
    @dskushwaha
    Dear..
    Do u know what is roaming?…
    If u dont know then first enrich your knowledge then come for discussion…
    U can not sell SIM card where you dont have the license..but these operator are selling their services…if it is legal than what is the use of buying license by spending huge amounts….

    Yes I know what roaming is.
    Roaming in telecommunications means extension of connectivity service in a location that is different from the home location where the service was registered. Roaming ensures that the wireless device is kept connected to the network, without losing the connection.
    But Selling 3G services & products in location where the service are registered, are not called roaming. It is illegal. And I support DOT’s move.
    But I question the use of word Roaming Pact/ agreement in this context.

  • Saptarshi Roy December 17, 2011 11:48 pm

    Please make me understand. How can such an agreement be illegal? On one hand we have MVNO’s like Virgin and T24 and the government has provision for their operation and suddenly if an operator runs 3G services on the same model, it becomes illegal! I don’t see the difference. If you bring in “the cost factor” for purchasing the spectrum, that shouldn’t be a headache for the government because the spectrum was sold and now it is up to the buyer to utilise that spectrum in whichever way they feel is good as a business model within the ambit of the law. Do people even know if what they are doing in their senses are right or wrong or do they need another Lord Krishna to open their eyes?

  • kankan December 16, 2011 1:26 am

    I realized that where these 3 operators(Airtel, Idea& Vodafone) having actual/legal 3g license(Exp: Vodafone in Kolkata) they are giving very odd or high tariff than the sharing company, it clearly shows somehow these company doing fraud with government norms in terms of revenue (may in the form of tax/license fees/any other way).

    For Example: In Kolkata itself vodafone 3g network is available when you recharge with minimum Rs.103 but Idea & Airtel’s subscriber will get 3g network(BOTH COMPANY SHARING VODAFONE’S NETWORK) very easily by sending a simple toll free message without any recharge just not like Vodafone.

    “plz think ones” guys……

  • Sunil December 15, 2011 9:49 pm

    Sanjay Bafna :

    dskushwaha :

    Tata Docomo and Aircel Terminate 3G Roaming Deal :
    Presently on state run telecom operators BSNL and MTNL providing pan India 3G services with all legal terms and conditions of 3G licence

    If private 3G operators are not allowed roaming using partner network how come BSNL an MTNL (?)

    Just read the post, BSNL and MTNL not operating their services in same circle or intra circle. So they are not selling any products and 3G services in circles wherein they doesn’t have 3G spectrum and license. While private operators are selling their 3G products and new connections even in circles where they do not have 3G spectrum/licence.
    So BSNL/MTNL’s 3G Roaming is legal as per 3G / USA /CMTS license’s T&C.

    +1, this is what TT reader’s should understand…

  • Saurabh December 15, 2011 8:23 pm

    @kankan
    +1.
    Allow BSNL to return spectrum and let them get into ICRA with Aircel/Tata or Reliance if this gets legalized.

  • DB December 15, 2011 6:05 pm

    @kankan

    >> Thats good atleast some etiquette are their in Aircel and Tata Docomo
    +1

  • kankan December 15, 2011 4:04 pm

    Thats good atleast some etiquette are their in Aircel and Tata Docomo but this Airtel, Idea and Vodafone always trying to fraud customers now they also cheat government.

    If this agreement will become legal so please return the money paid by the BSNL who hold pan India 3g license.

  • sayantan December 15, 2011 12:41 pm

    It’s a bad move.

  • Ahamed December 15, 2011 12:18 pm

    Why other private operators, Idea, vodafone and Airtel are not following the path of Tata and Aircel? Are they siting tight with their wrong decisions? Let them act only according to the rules of the land. Otherwise people will be suffering. Those who had purchsed SIM and Data Card from the PARASITE COMPANIES were bluntly cheated by these private operators. The losses so incurred should have to be refunded. Since MNP is available, it will be a problem of just a book adjustment for the companies. For example, those who have taken connection from Vodafone and Airtel in Kerala can switch over to their cartel partner Idea. The Issues involved canbe settled this way.

  • Saurabh December 15, 2011 12:01 pm

    @dskushwaha
    In-reply to your comment What if now they move ahead with Merger. i.e a new company like Aircel Docomo

    If they merge their companies, they will have to surrender licenses (both 2G and 3G) where both have license. Only one license will be applicable and if they don’t to they will have to face legal actions like Idea is facing in Punjab.

    Idea applied for and got 2G license for Punjab & Karnataka circle during auction and then acquired/merged Spice Telecom also. After that they had 2 licenses for same circle. There were a total of 6 circles were both Idea and Spice applied for license but at time of application there were separate entities. DoT has asked them to return 1 license/spectrum and carry on with Spice’s one. Idea is ready to do so but DoT is denying return of money paid for license by Idea. Idea moved court against DoT and just because of this, they are also not ettin 3G spectrum to start 3G services in Punjab.

    Spice takeover by Idea was their biggest mistake for which they are paying until now.

  • suresh December 15, 2011 11:08 am

    @dskushwaha
    Dear..
    Do u know what is roaming?…
    If u dont know then first enrich your knowledge then come for discussion…
    U can not sell SIM card where you dont have the license..but these operator are selling their services…if it is legal than what is the use of buying license by spending huge amounts….

  • suresh December 15, 2011 11:01 am

    @Indranil
    My dear frd..Indranil..u dont know how these private players playing with customers health…they are not following govt. norms in terms of tower radiation..U guys only need services but dont care about environment and health of the people..

  • h rajpoot December 15, 2011 10:03 am

    3g in india:

    poor coverage by operators

    worst polices by govt

    poor management by trai

    lack of spectrum

    high data tarrif

  • arun kumar December 14, 2011 11:30 pm

    i am frm kerala. i would like to port in to idea.. what are idea’s mnp offer in kerala

  • Rohan Singh December 14, 2011 11:26 pm

    I wanted DoCoMO 3G in kolkata ..but our government can’t stop themselves from committing series of mistakes… Hope idea doesn’t stop it’s 3G in kolkata.

  • bharat December 14, 2011 11:11 pm

    Make more 3g spectrum available

  • proximus December 14, 2011 11:03 pm

    Tata Docomo’s 2g network itself is very bad in Kerala.No coverage,call drops,worst customer care etc.

  • Abhijith December 14, 2011 9:09 pm

    Normal 2g edge itself no proper coverage . . Then how ill be 3g useful

  • sri December 14, 2011 8:01 pm

    3g packages in India are POCKET DRAINERS ! No use even after it is launched long back and more over the 3g launch killed the 2g unlimited packages. So, finally 3G in India is Killer.

  • sunny December 14, 2011 8:01 pm

    @Sanjay Bafna
    bro, my question is what is legal in this country, a simple move seems to be illegal in india????????

  • sunny December 14, 2011 8:00 pm

    in india 3g has the poorest coverage, and high price, its better to choose evdo net and datacards, ichoose mblaze ultra, and it just blazer….
    thanks mts

  • sunny December 14, 2011 7:57 pm

    indian goverment and dot really sucks………
    plans are far better in usa

  • Jiten December 14, 2011 6:33 pm

    @Sanjay Bafna
    Oh thanks for the clarification about the MTNL & BSNL 3G roaming deal. Thanks

  • AP December 14, 2011 6:15 pm

    The timing of the objection by the government is interesting. A major pan India 4G (LTE?) network is preparing to launch with high speed internet access, initially through USB dongles.

    And all of a sudden, the government wakes up to the fact that three major telcos have set up internal roaming agreements for 3G. Forcing operators to terminate their 3G ICR agreements will ensure that only the 4G network and the dear brother’s EVDO network, will have truly pan India high speed wireless coverage, apart from uncompetitive Tata DoCoMo and incompetent BSNL.

    How nice.

  • AMKE December 14, 2011 6:05 pm

    @dskushwaha
    mtnl not providing any type of telecom service in bsnl licensed area so mtnl is aligibal for roaming service.

  • Sanjay Bafna December 14, 2011 5:45 pm

    dskushwaha :

    Tata Docomo and Aircel Terminate 3G Roaming Deal :
    Presently on state run telecom operators BSNL and MTNL providing pan India 3G services with all legal terms and conditions of 3G licence

    If private 3G operators are not allowed roaming using partner network how come BSNL an MTNL (?)

    Just read the post, BSNL and MTNL not operating their services in same circle or intra circle. So they are not selling any products and 3G services in circles wherein they doesn’t have 3G spectrum and license. While private operators are selling their 3G products and new connections even in circles where they do not have 3G spectrum/licence.

    So BSNL/MTNL’s 3G Roaming is legal as per 3G / USA /CMTS license’s T&C.

  • dskushwaha December 14, 2011 5:45 pm

    Sathish :
    Yes, This type of roaming pacts (Looks like MVNO) are illegal in India.
    It’s very good move by both growing operators.
    But still the leading operators(airtel, vodafone and idea) are not ready to terminate 3G roaming pact.
    Govt should take immediate actions against frauds(airtel, vodafone and idea).
    Why this is wrong one?
    You all well known about our govt owned BSNL & MTNL had spent huge money for getting PAN india 3G License, but private operators are only getting license for few circles but now they are launching 3G operations in PAN India.
    Here lobby No.1 (Airtel, Idea, Vodafone) and another lobby No.2 (Aircel & TATA DOCOMO) had not spent single paise for Pan India 3G License( i.e Non-3G license Circles) how can they launch its 3G services in PAN India. It’s not a healthy game for telecom industry. Don’t trying to cheat everyone in all time. One day they will find you easily. I know these operators are like a bubbles, one day it going to burst.
    After its customers, now they are cheating govt also.

    What if now they move ahead with Merger. i.e a new company like Aircel Docomo :?:

  • dskushwaha December 14, 2011 5:40 pm

    kunal :
    @saurabh Government is not killing this sector. Do you know that the equipments which were used by the defence forces in these 3g airwaves cost how much? Their cost is much higher than the money gained through bids. You say, in 2g scam and before A.raja, it was D.Maran who allotted extra frequencies to these companies but inspite of reducing call rates and amount of packs all have increased including state run telcos . Is this right?

    Defence Forces have got much smarter Fiber Optic network in return (free of cost by BSNL)

  • dskushwaha December 14, 2011 5:36 pm

    kunal :
    The roaming pacts are illegal , this was a pre planned step taken by private operators so as to cut their operational costs. If it is the way to launch 3g then one operator should have bid for the airwaves and others would have shared . Operators must be penalised and these agreements must be cancelled immediately .

    this was a pre planned step taken by private operators so as to cut their operational costs or this was a pre planned step taken by private operators so as to attract and make customers

  • dskushwaha December 14, 2011 5:26 pm

    Tata Docomo and Aircel Terminate 3G Roaming Deal :
    Presently on state run telecom operators BSNL and MTNL providing pan India 3G services with all legal terms and conditions of 3G licence

    If private 3G operators are not allowed roaming using partner network how come BSNL an MTNL (?)

  • Ganesh Srinivasan December 14, 2011 5:17 pm

    Right thing to do, in my opinion – they shouldn’t offer 3G in circles where they haven’t got licenses

    My favourite operator Aircel has done the first [and good] move

  • Saurabh gupta December 14, 2011 4:44 pm

    kunal :
    @saurabh Government is not killing this sector. Do you know that the equipments which were used by the defence forces in these 3g airwaves cost how much? Their cost is much higher than the money gained through bids. You say, in 2g scam and before A.raja, it was D.Maran who allotted extra frequencies to these companies but inspite of reducing call rates and amount of packs all have increased including state r

    one simple question which equipment were used that cost more then 67000 crores nearly half of defence overall budget and being commerce student i simple thing i understand that in every market prices are driven by many factors namely cost of production(or service) nature of market competetion margins and volumes at the initial stage volume and competetin was not there initial cost was high so prices were also high if any product cost more then nobody will going to pay from his pocket if govt will continue this way then i dont think any company would be interested in carrying business in telecom sector regulations are good but excess of anything is bad

  • Indranil December 14, 2011 4:34 pm

    @Satish-lets not compare services of BSNL/MTNL with that of Airtel or Voda.these state owned companies services are as worst as their customer service.what’s wrong if Airtel or Voda are offerring the 3G roaming services to their cistomers.at least if you are paying for 3G,you are able to use it on a Pan-India basis.Aircel and docomo are already under govt scanner for a lot of issues.they can’t afford to do anything wrong again hence this move.

  • Saurav Rehan December 14, 2011 4:10 pm

    it’s a good move by the government. companies are doing absolutely wrong by selling 3g connetion in the circles where they doest have 3g licence. it is like uninor company who doesnt bid for 3g in any circle starts provinding 3g in their circles.

  • Himanshu December 14, 2011 3:54 pm

    @Himanshu
    read this article “www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/item/50642-telecom-psus-strangulated-to-favour-private-players.html”

  • Himanshu December 14, 2011 3:46 pm

    Ankit :
    Government is killing us only they want is money .. they are looting everybody

    The government is not killing us. It’s the greedy motives of the trio (Airtel, Vodafone and Idea) that led to such high prices for 3G spectrum. They made sure that state run BSNL and MTNL lost their cash surplus by increasing the Spectrum cost. And now they are trying to arm twist the government to legalize their intra circle roaming pacts.

    I suspect, this trio must have bribed the netas and the bureaucracy to stop/delay the procurement of essential telecom equipment for BSNL/MTNL

  • krishnendu December 14, 2011 3:07 pm

    bsnl with license pan India giving lower speed compared to these pvt operators!It seems a 3g scam is coming!

  • Sathish December 14, 2011 2:58 pm

    Yes, This type of roaming pacts (Looks like MVNO) are illegal in India.

    It’s very good move by both growing operators.

    But still the leading operators(airtel, vodafone and idea) are not ready to terminate 3G roaming pact.

    Govt should take immediate actions against frauds(airtel, vodafone and idea).

    Why this is wrong one?

    You all well known about our govt owned BSNL & MTNL had spent huge money for getting PAN india 3G License, but private operators are only getting license for few circles but now they are launching 3G operations in PAN India.

    Here lobby No.1 (Airtel, Idea, Vodafone) and another lobby No.2 (Aircel & TATA DOCOMO) had not spent single paise for Pan India 3G License( i.e Non-3G license Circles) how can they launch its 3G services in PAN India. It’s not a healthy game for telecom industry. Don’t trying to cheat everyone in all time. One day they will find you easily. I know these operators are like a bubbles, one day it going to burst.

    After its customers, now they are cheating govt also.

  • novicefreak1 December 14, 2011 2:58 pm

    hail this decision…….good to see tata’s and aircel adopt the fair approach…good things starting to happen!

  • sAm December 14, 2011 2:37 pm

    Let’s see what happens in this sector !!

    But Aircel & Tata Docomo showed fairness !! Nice move by both of them..

  • Jas Desai December 14, 2011 2:36 pm

    Rather than directing telecom companies to cancel the pacts, it would have been better if the government agency had spared a thought for all those customers who had opted for 3G services under such a pact. The government should have thought about an alternative way to resolve the issue.

  • kunal December 14, 2011 2:29 pm

    @saurabh Government is not killing this sector. Do you know that the equipments which were used by the defence forces in these 3g airwaves cost how much? Their cost is much higher than the money gained through bids. You say, in 2g scam and before A.raja, it was D.Maran who allotted extra frequencies to these companies but inspite of reducing call rates and amount of packs all have increased including state run telcos . Is this right?

  • Ramesh Darji December 14, 2011 2:27 pm

    There should be clear cut policy and all issue should be resolved immediately otherwise it is loss to telecom company and customer both. Still there is no clarity whether agreement is valid or not.

  • kunal December 14, 2011 2:22 pm

    The roaming pacts are illegal , this was a pre planned step taken by private operators so as to cut their operational costs. If it is the way to launch 3g then one operator should have bid for the airwaves and others would have shared . Operators must be penalised and these agreements must be cancelled immediately .

  • Ankit December 14, 2011 2:05 pm

    Government is killing us only they want is money .. they are looting everybody

  • Saurabh gupta December 14, 2011 1:51 pm

    Government is killing telecom sector