Telecom ministry had put forth a note criticizing the illegal 3G sharing that could lead to security threats. With support from TRAI on the same, the note was further sent to the Union Law secretary for further advice. The news has it that the DoT will ask phone companies to abolish 3G roaming agreements, reports Times of India. So, a customer cannot use 3G services in a state, wherein its operator does not have permits.

3G roaming to stop soon?

3G customers of Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Aircel are permitted to use one another’s airwaves. So, a Bharti Airtel user can access 3G services even in Kolkata, irrespective of Airtel not having any license for its 3G service in West Bengal. Reportedly, this is different with 2G roaming, but violates 3G roaming license rules. These agreements will be terminated as soon as the Law ministry gives its clearance. Network providers like Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications will not be affected by the decision as they haven’t signed such agreements.

The chief executives of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular sent a joint letter to the Communications Minister, Kapil Sibal stating that 3G roaming isn’t illegal and prior to the 3G auctions, there was a clear understanding on such deals. “Any determination now that this might not be the case would fundamentally alter the legal and economic basis on which the business case of 3G bids was evaluated, inevitably leading to a requirement to either refund the bidders or rerun the auction,” the heads of the four mobile companies collectively stated.

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