With no mobile phone company bagging pan-India 3G spectrum, all operators are sewing up roaming agreements with each other to retain their high-end customers.
According to ET, Aircel and Tata Teleservices are in talks for a pan-India alliance to use each other’s 3G airwaves. Both these companies jointly have 3G frequencies in all circles except the metros of Delhi and Mumbai and Himachal Pradesh. They are also the only bidders for MTNL’s offer to share its 3G network in Delhi and Mumbai.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular are also in the last rounds of discusssing their strategic 3G alliance.
Bharti, Vodafone and Idea jointly have 3G spectrum in all circles except Orissa. They also jointly own the world’s largest telecom infrastructure company, Indus Tower, enabling them to share mobile networks for 3G rollout.
Tata Teleservices is eyeing a 3G roaming deal with state-owned BSNL, which has third generation frequencies in all circles except the metros of Delhi and Mumbai.
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications (RCOM), each won 3G spectrum in 13 of the 22 telecom zones on offer while Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Aircel and Tata won a total of 9, 11, 13 and 9 circles, respectively.