Indian mobile operator Aircel has revealed that it has signed a nationwide 2G Intra-Circle Roaming (ICR) agreement with state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The Economic Times quotes an Aircel representative as saying: ‘This is [the] first agreement between a state owned operator and a private telecom player. With this strategic tie up, both organisations will be able to enhance customer experience besides utilising each other’s assets and network strength.’ Local press sources have claimed that BSNL is poised to sign additional ICR agreements with rival operators Vodafone and Reliance Jio in the coming months.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, BSNL’s 2G footprint covers 20 of India’s 22 circles (all except Delhi and Mumbai). The network currently comprises 114,000 cell towers, a figure which is set to rise to 135,000 following the next phase of the telco’s rollout programme.