DoT allows intra-circle roaming pacts between private players
The government has allowed private mobile operators to enter into mutual agreements for intra- circle roaming with each other, a move that will help new players who are yet to roll out their networks and those who do not have licence in a particular service area.
The Department of Telecommunications circular said: "A licensee may enter into mutual commercial agreements for intra-service area roaming facilities with other cellular operators." Industry sources said the measure may have been undertaken to benefit new operators with no telecom experience or infrastructure of their own or are in the process of rolling out their own networks.
The DoT decision would not, however, change the mandatory network roll out of 60 per cent in the first year but would give them a chance to offer their customers intra-circle roaming by allowing them to tie up with other operators.
The circular said roaming arrangements are normally entered into by access service providers for service area for which they do not have licence to provide service.
Therefore, so far the request for mandatory roaming facilities among the players have not been agreed to. However there is no bar in entering into roaming agreements subject to the mutual commercial agreements by various service providers.