The inter and intra-circle roaming arrangements between these companies will help them to offer seamless 3G services to their customers. Also, it will equip each company to start 3G services in areas where they have not built their own 3G network.
"Vodafone has entered into a bilateral roaming agreement, both inter and intra circle, with Idea and Airtel to provide 3G services to our customers in the circles where we have not built our own 3G network, to bring a pan-India experience of 3G services to our customers," Vodafone said in a statement.
The biggest advantage of this new deal is that companies can offer 3G service pan-India irrespective of the 3G licences they won during the 3G spectrum auction. While Bharti Airtel owns 3G licences in 13 circles and Idea Cellular has 11, Vodafone has only 9 circles. The new agreement helps each other to use others' network to offer 3G.
Idea has entered into an intra-circle roaming arrangement with Vodafone for introducing 3G services in Delhi and Kolkata circles while Bharti Airtel will partner Idea in providing 3G services in Karnataka. Similarly, Vodafone will begin 3G service in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in partnership with Idea.
Anyhow, none of these companies divulged the revenue sharing arrangement among the operators.