Three major mobile operators — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular — have decided to use each other's networks through inter and intra-circle roaming arrangements to provide seamless 3G services to their customers.
“Vodafone has entered into a bilateral roaming agreement, both inter and intra circle, with Idea and Airtel to provide 3G services to our customers in the circles where we have not built our own 3G network, to bring a pan-India experience of 3G services to our customers,” Vodafone said in a statement.
Bharti Airtel has 3G licences in 13 circles, including Delhi and Mumbai, while Idea Cellular and Vodafone have for 11 and 9 circles, respectively, out of total 22 telecom circles. Since these three companies do not cover the entire nation, they would use each other's network to give connectivity.
Idea has entered into an intra-circle roaming arrangement with Vodafone for introducing 3G services in Delhi and Kolkata circles while Bharti Airtel will partner Idea in providing 3G services in Karnataka — primarily in Bangalore and Mysore.
Meanwhile, Vodafone has started 3G services in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala through an agreement with Idea. Uttar Pradesh (West) is another circle where Vodafone plans to introduce similar services through Bharti Airtel's network. Similarly, Bharti Airtel has entered into intra-circle roaming agreements to share Idea's 3G network in Gujarat.
No details on revenue sharing
Nobody divulged the revenue sharing arrangement among the operators. Roaming agreements — both inter and intra circle — are the norm in the telecom industry since they help a service provider offer seamless service to its customers.