Reliance Communications (RCOM) today announced signing up of pan India 2G GSM intra-circle roaming (ICR) agreements with Aircel.
The company is in advance stage of talks with several other operators for 2G ICR alliances. Once in place, RCOM's 2G GSM customers will be able to roam seamlessly on all partner networks, free of any additional cost. It will also offer its customers wider coverage and uninterrupted service across the country.
These ICR agreements will increase RCOM's national 2G GSM network footprint by 10,000 base stations and bring in an addressable market of over 150 million customers, adding up to a market opportunity of over Rs 10,000 crore. All agreements with existing telecom operators are likely to be completed by the end of the second quarter of the ongoing financial year.
"We are already in advanced stages of talks with several operators across the country to put these agreements in place, and are delighted to announce the first of many such alliances today-a pan-India 2G GSM ICR agreement with Aircel," said Gurdeep Singh, president and chief executive officer (Wireless), Reliance Communications.
"In today's highly competitive and cluttered telecom scenario, this agreement will expand RCOM's network footprint at no upfront cost-a ‘Pay As You Use' model-and improve both service quality and operational efficiencies. We believe that the iming for such alliances is just right, as the industry is now moving into consolidation mode," he added.
The innovative 2G GSM ICR arrangements with various other operators will see a fast-paced expansion of RCOM's GSM network footprint at no extra cost, optimize Capex and Opex spends and allow the company's customers a seamless roaming experience on partner networks.
In addition, increased capacities will significantly improve both outdoor and in-building coverage, providing RCOM customers with an enriched mobility and data experience.
"At RCom, it has always been our endeavor to provide innovative products and services to our customers, coupled with ease of use and affordability-these agreements are another step in that direction, said Gurdeep Singh.
These agreements will optimize RCOM's network resources and further entrench our position as a pan-India scale operator, while offering our customers dependable and uninterrupted services added Gurdeep.
Kaizad Heerjee, COO, Aircel said, "The telecom industry is at a stage where players are faced with high operational costs-be it energy, infrastructure, sales or distribution. Given this dynamic nature of the industry, it is inevitable for operators to consider such arrangements with each other to offer continued and seamless mobile services to customers. Our strong infrastructure and network capabilities across the country have enabled us to provide a differentiated, redefined and affordable user experience to our customers. The signing of the MoU with RCOM is our first step in this direction, to make mobile services available to all."
To begin with, the two companies will offer the 2G ICR advantage to its customers in some key circles, with the agreement being periodically expanded, thereby taking this progressive offering to customers on a pan-India basis.