MTNL offers 3G roaming option to alternative operators

25 Jun 2010

State-owned telco Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has reportedly called for bids from those operators interested in roaming over its 3G network in Delhi and Mumbai. According to the Economic Times, MTNL has claimed that by putting such agreements in place with rival operators it could generate an annual turnover of around INR3 billion (USD64.6 million), which it said would make its 3G operations commercially viable. The offer would mean that those cellcos that were unsuccessful in obtaining third-generation spectrum for the two circles in the recently-ended sale process could still offer 3G services in two of India’s largest cities; only Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Reliance Communications (RCOM) won 3G frequencies for Delhi and Mumbai. Under its proposals MTNL has said that the minimum cost for operators interested in such an agreement would be INR700 million, of which INR500 million would be an annual fixed charge, while the remaining INR200 million would be for a set level of network usage; over-usage would see the additional revenues split evenly between MTNL and the respective operator. Commenting on the plan, MTNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Singh, said: ‘We are looking at a huge business opportunity in this and have invited bids from two operators to begin with … We have to make judicious use of the spectrum available to us and this is one of the revenue streams available to us.’