DoT to meet industry to resolve 3G roaming issue

"Consultation with Law (Ministry) is complete. We will hold a consultation with telecom players before taking any final decision," Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar told reporters after a meeting of the Telecom Commission.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) in its internal note has said that the roaming agreement among telecom companies for 3G services would lead to significant loss of revenue for the government.

There may also be an impact on revenues from spectrum usage charge collected from operators, according to an internal note prepared by the Department of Telecom (DoT).
Recently, the chiefs of three leading telecom firms -- Bharti, Idea and Vodafone -- in a jointly signed letter had sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention in the dispute over
3G roaming pact, or else they threatened to surrender spectrum.

According to sources in the DoT, the 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," DoT officials said.

The issue pertains to the pact among major service providers, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular, 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.

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