At the end of the 3G Auctions, one concern we had was around the state of Uttar Pradesh: that because the circle was split into two, what would happen when a consumer crossed from one half of the state to the other. The solution: roaming agreements.

Public sector telecom operator MTNL has floated a tender for allowing customers of other telecom operators providing 3G services the opportunity to roam on 3G networks in Delhi and Mumbai. Download the tender document here.

Meanwhile, the Financial Express reports that RIL is in talks with MTNL for a franchise agreement, though RIL had denied any such move. MTNL had previously shortlisted Virgin Mobile and the Spice Group as potential franchise partners for 3G, a tender which was subsequently cancelled.

Details Of 3G Roaming Agreement

MTNL is seeking to initially enter into an agreement with two operators/bidders each in Delhi and Mumbai. Remember that the two metro cities of Delhi and Mumbai accounted for the highest winning bids in both the 3G and Broadband Wireless Access auctions, and MTNL, having been allocated spectrum a year and a half in advance, is expected to pay the full amount to the Indian government. MTNL is looking to make Rs. 50 crore per year as annual minimum fixed charges, and Rs. 20 crore per year as the minimum annual commitment for outgoing calls, priced at 80% of prevailing MTNL rates in the city.

MTNL says that while initially they’ll allow roaming for two operators, eventually, they’ll look to allow more telecom operators to offer 3G roaming in Delhi and Mumbai to their customers, if they have the traffic handling capacity. Four private telecom operators – Aircel, Idea Cellular, STel, Tata Teleservices – did not get 3G spectrum in India’s 3G auctions; We wonder if roaming for BSNL customers on MTNL networks and vice-versa, is a foregone conclusion.

Snippets from the tender:
– The bidders will have to submit a security deposit of Rs. 35 lakh
– Annual fixed charges per year: Minimum Rs. 50 crore/year
– Minimum annual committed amount for outgoing calls @ 80% of prevalent MTNL rates, at Rs. 20 crores/year .
– In case, the MTNL’s share of revenue exceeds by Rs. 10 crores over and above highest quote of the successful bidder in a given year/city, the partner will be entitled to 5% additional rebate on the amount exceeding the minimum assured amount
– Termination charges for incoming calls will be as per TRAI guidelines. 80% of Termination charges for calls will be refunded to a maximum ceiling of the annual fixed charges. with reconciliation on a month-on-month basis.
– Performance guarantee of Rs. 10 crore, valid for three years.

Related:

MTNL
MTNL Looks To Raise Rs. 4000 Crore Loan To Pay For BWA Spectrum
MTNL To Allow 2G Subscribers To Migrate To 3G
MTNL Q4-10 Mobile Revenue At Rs. 1840M; 348K 3G Subs, Broadband ARPU Rs. 592

3G
India’s 3G Auction Ends; Operator And Circle-Wise Results
3G Auction India: The Uttar Pradesh Problem; Points To Ponder
India Spectrum Auctions 101

RIL
Updated: Reliance Industries Buys 95% In BWA Auction Winner Infotel; To Invest Rs. 4800 Cr