Decision on 3G roaming pact within a week

According to sources in the DoT, telecom firms will not get the advantage of proposed provisions in the National Telecom Policy-2011 that may allow sharing of spectrum among operators as they entered into an agreement for sharing spectrum before implementation of the policy.

“The decision on the 3G roaming issue will be taken as per the current licence agreement and arrangements between the Department of Telecom (DoT) and telecom companies before the 3G spectrum auction last year,” said a senior DoT official.

Some of the telecom firms, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular had entered into an agreement for providing a 3G roaming network on a pan-India basis. Other service providers, like Tata Teleservices and Aircel, had entered into a similar agreement to offer services in six circles. However, the DOT opposed this pact terming it as illegal.

Protesting against the DOT’s opposition, CEOs of three leading telecom firms — Bharti, Idea and Vodafone — had sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to resolve the dispute over the 3G roaming pact, failing which they threatened to surrender spectrum.

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