The government of India has asked telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to do away with 3G roaming agreements that allow them to operate in circles where they do not have any 3G spectrum.
“The decision has been taken that this (3G roaming pacts) is in violation of terms and conditions of the licence. The government will be issuing notices asking them (operators) to stop their service with immediate effect. But on penalty, no decision has been taken yet,” telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar said.
Operators have so far not responded, but at an earlier occasion talking to The Mobile Indian, COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) of which these three operators are members,) president Rajan Mathews had said, “We will go to court of the decision is not in our favour. We are sure that we are on the right side of the law.”
Aircel and Tata Docomo, which had a similar pact, have already discontinued it. With the annulment of such agreements, customers of operators that do not have 3G spectrum in particular circles will thus have to look for another telco for such services.
Operators will most likely have to refund any advance taken from customers. It would also be important to know what happens to customers who have bought data cards of these operators as they will not be usable with any other SIM card.
We will surely keep you updated with further news. Meanwhile, if you want to know whether your operator has 3G spectrum in your circle or not you can click here.