Idea ends 3G ICRA with Airtel, continues with Vodafone

Idea cellular the 3rd largest operator by subscriber base, which was in a 3G intra circle roaming agreement with Airtel and Vodafone to achieve a Pan India 3G footprint has now decided to end the agreement with Airtel effective from 15th November. Idea will continue the partnership with Vodafone going forward.


The above screenshot is from an SMS that Idea sent out to a subscriber in Mumbai circle. Interestingly Idea won 5 MHz of spectrum in 2100 MHz band in Mumbai circle in the recent spectrum auction, which indicates that Idea may be planning on using the spectrum to launch Band 1 FD-LTE in Mumbai while continuing to offer 3G services using Vodafone’s network.

Idea currently lacks own 3G in Mumbai, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, North East and Odisha circles where it depends on the ICRA with Airtel and Vodafone. Airtel now has Pan India footprint of own 3G network using 2100 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum, which is why it now doesn’t feel the need for continuing the ICRA.

Idea in combination with Vodafone will continue to offer Pan India 3G to its subscribers. Going forward the two operators may ink similar roaming agreement for 4G as well, since both possess liberalised spectrum in 2500 MHz band which they bought in the recently concluded spectrum auction. Both networks share good synergy and such agreements can reduce the capex and opex of both companies.

New 4G entrant Reliance Jio has spectrum sharing agreement with Reliance communications for the 850 MHz band since the spectrum cap rules prevent it from individually holding 10 MHz in the band. Additionally Rcom subscribers also have access to Jio’s 1800 and 2300 MHz spectrum through similar ICRA arrangement between the two operators. This is in addition to all the passive infrastructure sharing agreements between them.

Image courtesy: Aaditya Kelkar

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46 Comments on "Idea ends 3G ICRA with Airtel, continues with Vodafone"


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Mahmood Junaid
November 14, 2016 1:34 pm 1:34 PM

Massive new voice rate cutters by idea cellular in Kerala circle:
151rs- unlimited i2i calls for 7 days
251rs- unlimited i2i calls for 28 days
99rs- 250 loc/std mins
297rs- 400 nat mins+1gb data
497rs- 800 nat mins+ 2gb data
198- 550 loc/std mins
698- unlimited loc/std calls for 28 days

November 13, 2016 4:53 pm 4:53 PM

Idea proving to be useful at my village in absence of Jio. 4GB for 247Rs for 28 days on a new SIM.

November 13, 2016 9:39 pm 9:39 PM

Good for you. Idea is also offering 2GB for 154 and 4GB for 253 (28d, 3G/4G) – to existing users.

November 13, 2016 10:28 pm 10:28 PM

By new SIM I meant newly ported number. Special offers. Old numbers have 3GB 4G/3G and unlimited calls.

Fortunately Idea has 3G here.