India to block 3G roaming agreements?

23 Dec 2011

Reuters quotes a senior Indian government official as saying that the telecoms ministry may ban mobile operators from offering 3G roaming over each others’ networks to cover zones where they do not possess 3G frequencies. No Indian operator owns a full national set of regional UMTS licences, and domestic cellcos including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular currently provide 3G services beyond their licensed zones via roaming agreements. Another report from Dow Jones quotes the country’s Telecom Secretary (of the Department of Telecommunications) as saying that the existing 3G roaming agreements are illegal.