Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular did not violate 3G intra-circle roaming rules : COAI



The Cellular Operators Association of India
(COAI) re-emphasized that there are no legal or regulatory issues that
precluded Airtel, Vodafone and Idea from entering into intra-circle roaming
agreements that allowed them to provide 3G services to their customers.


“These arrangements are in the interest of
consumers and allowed the benefits of scarce and limited broadband spectrum to
be provided to a larger segment of the population. This was clearly in the
interest of consumers and conforms to the national goal of providing broadband
to all,” said Rajan S Mathews, director general, COAI.


The Intra Circle Roaming arrangements bring
additional revenue to the Government without putting any immediate pressure on
the government to increase the availability of 3G spectrum. There are no losses
to the government exchequer due to 3G Roaming as has been alleged.


Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular did not
violate 3G intra-circle roaming rules in the process of offering 3G roaming
services to the consumers of all operators across the country.


“However, it is now dismaying as well as
astonishing to be facing such a misleading and protracting disinformation
campaign against the Intra Circle Roaming arrangements being followed by a
number of industry entities,” Mathews added.


COAI has submitted that these false
statements are being orchestrated for serving vested interests. This is clearly shown by the
fact that all the issues and circumstances were known to the government and regulator for nearly a year
when BSNL attempted to do much the same and when the DoT was informed of the Intra-Circle
Roaming agreements by the Companies.


The sudden flurry of interest appears to
have been orchestrated by certain vested interests who have taken pains to
write detailed submissions to the DoT and others which have now been adopted as
the “official understanding”.


The COAI, on behalf of its members, has
approached Kapil Sibal to intervene and put matters into the right perspective while
at the same time ensuring that all stakeholders involved be treated with
fairness and the common interest of the sector be upheld.


By Team
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