State-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Monday said it has decided to share its network with private telecom companies for roaming agreements.
The company will sign the first roaming agreement with new telecom operator Swan Telecom, a BSNL internal circular of the management committee meeting said.
This facility will enable subscribers to enjoy seamless connectivity throughout the country. “The memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard may be signed with the seeking operators initially for six months only on non-exclusive and experimental basis,” the circular said.
The circular also added that the company would revise the initial charge of 52 paise a minute for every outgoing call after six months, and the incremental additional cost of the upgrade of equipment to provide roaming facilities will be borne by the private operators.
It further added that the idle capacity of the network would be used to earn extra revenue. While all private telecom companies have roaming agreements with each other, BSNL, till date, has not opened its networks for roaming deals.
Source: The Economic Times, India
This is indeed a significant development. In Chapter seven of our book “ICT infrastructure in emerging Asia” we quoted the Indian Minister at that time (2005) ruling out BSNL allowing any kind of roaming agreements (http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-118621-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html). Does the fact that BSNL is no longer top dog, having been overtaken by Bharti Airtel, have anything to do with this aboutface?