Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular to Continue 3G Roaming via ICRA

India’s leading mobile service providers, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular today jointly said said they will continue to offer 3G mobile and Data services in their non 3G circles on a pan India basis via ICRA.

The statement came from the telcos as the dispute over 3G Roaming pacts (ICRA) heads to the Supreme Court, after a two-member bench of the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) delivered a spited verdict on a petition challenging the Government’s order banning such 3G ICRA.

Earlier the two-member bench of the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has given a spited verdict on the legality of telecom operators getting into roaming pacts to offer 3G services in circles where they do not have spectrum.

TDSAT Member P K Rastogi said “the mobile operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular) could not provide Intra circle 3G roaming services as they were not allowed to provide 3G services with 2G licences and spectrum.”

However, the Chairman, Justice SB Sinha, ordered the DoT (Department of Telecommunications) to start the procedure afresh, as the department had not followed proper procedure and the operators were not given enough time to present their views, which was violative of natural justice.

The dispute occured as the current 2G 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’.

Rajan Mathews of COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India), the industry body representing GSM operators, said, “Though it is a spilt verdict, we are disappointed. We are looking forward to the final ruling. The DoT now has 90 days to file a rejoinder to the earlier notice. We’ll wait for the 90-day window and then approach the Supreme Court.”

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29 Comments on "Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular to Continue 3G Roaming via ICRA"


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Nitesh Ganvir
September 2, 2014 4:52 pm 4:52 PM

Now I am in assam.shown idea roaming .i have recharge 1 gb, 3G. but service shown 2g.please help

February 12, 2013 1:15 pm 1:15 PM

Airtel Vodafone idea. in 3g icra one can buy the license than other two uses the same spectrum in entire India.. approximately 66% loss for govt and people..

February 12, 2013 1:06 pm 1:06 PM
3 g icra is loss making to government (people).. UPA government telecom policy should be worst.. suppose in 3g icra all the private telecom service provider have participate 3g auction to bid each company in 3 circles.. totally 7 companys.. 7*3=21. 21 circles.. so each company can buy only 3 circles. but provide service in 21 circles.. what about the licensing amount paid to govt for each operator.. but single operator BSNL should get 20 circles.. what is difference.. 7 private operator and single public sector is equal.. BSNL should return the spectrum to govt then they have to make… Read more »