Mumbai, April 28: Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com) today announced a tripartite agreement with Tata Teleservices and Aircel to provide 3G roaming services to each other’s customers across the country.
R-Com and Aircel have permits for 3G services in 13 out of the 22 service areas, while Tata Teleservices has licence in nine circles.
“We are delighted to be the first operator to offer 3G national roaming to our customers in partnership with other telecom firms having 3G networks. These alliances will further consolidate R-Com’s position as the leading data operator in the country and will help the company to improve its post-paid and corporate customer market share,” Gurdeep Singh, chief executive officer for consumer business, R-Com, said in a statement.
R-Com circles comprise Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Northeast and Jammu & Kashmir.
With this agreement, R-Com’s customers will get access to 3G service while roaming in other circles — Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and UP east where Aircel has a presence. Its agreement with TTSL will give it access to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana and UP west.
Sources close to R-Com said there was no bar at present on such inter-circle roaming pacts and that the restriction only applied to an operator (who has a roaming tie-up) getting a customer from a circle where it did not have licence to offer 3G services.
“Selling services or acquiring a new customer in the guise of roaming in a circle where an operator does not hold a license is not allowed,” the source said.
The offer is likely to benefit frequent domestic travelers and provide them with seamless 3G data connectivity across the country.
According to sources, the partnership will help R-Com to retain customers with access to data services on a pan-India basis. As on December 31, 2013, the company had 36.2 million data customers, including 11.1 million 3G customers, which is the largest 3G customer base in the industry.