BSNL and MTNL considering allowing private operators to roam on 3G networks

28 Sep 2010

State-owned Indian operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Ltd (MTNL) are reportedly in talks with private operators regarding the possibility of infrastructure sharing deals for their respective 3G networks, according to DNA India. It is understood that the two telcos, which both received 3G frequencies in July 2008, are considering allowing access to their infrastructure to those operators that do not have third-generation spectrum in a region. The report cites J. Gopal, executive director of MTNL’s operations in the Mumbai circle, as claiming that operators such as Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and Reliance Communications (RCOM) are interested in utilising its network in the region. Mr Gopal noted that any arrangement between his company and an interested party would require an upfront payment of INR1 billion (USD22.2 million) in addition to a revenue share for each subscriber using the network. An unnamed RCOM source confirmed that it was in negotiations with MTNL, noting: ‘We do not have 3G spectrum in Mumbai. So we look to share MTNL base stations to enable our subscribers with roaming 3G services.’