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Idea, Vodafone, Airtel Resume Intra-circle 3G Services

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GSM operators Idea Cellular, Vodafone India and Bharti AirtelBSE -2.78 % have resumed offering third generation (3G) services on each-others networks, after the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal cleared the services last week.

“Both, prepaid and postpaid Idea customers in Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kolkata & West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Assam and North East can now avail 3G services, and roam seamlessly across the country”, Idea CellularBSE 0.23 % said in a statement Monday.
In 2010, Idea had won 3G licenses and bandwidth to offer services in 11 circles, while Vodafone India had won in nine and Bharti Airtel in 13. The three – now the top three carriers in India – then entered into what is called the 3G intra-circle (ICR) roaming pact with each other to offer the high speed broadband services in areas where they didn’t win airwaves. The telecom department had objected, saying the agreements were in fact spectrum sharing which wasn’t allowed, but the TDSAT last week ruled in favour of the operators, saying license conditions weren’t breached.

In a separate statement Monday, Vodafone said it has resumed services under 3G ICR with immediate effect through which roaming services will be offered to its customers in circles where it doesn’t have its own 3G network.

“The circles where the 3G roaming services will be provided are: MP & CG, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, HP, J&K, UP West, Bihar and Assam & NE”, Vodafone India said. It added that in addition to offering customers (both pre and postpaid) 3G roaming facilities, the telco is also offering “multiple packages” but didn’t specify.

A day earlier, Airtel had said it had re-started services under the 3G ICR pacts, offering services in Haryana, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, MPCG (Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh), Gujarat, Kolkata and UP (east). Original post at The Economic Times

Wahengbam Rorrkychand

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