Indian operators Aircel and BSNL have signed a nationwide inter-circle 2G roaming agreement.
The deal is the first of its kind to be agreed between a private player and a state operator. By sharing assets, the two firms will both be able to enhance connectivity, reducing dropped calls and thereby improving customer experience.
ICR arrangements are becoming a larger part of BSNL’s strategy, with the state-owned operator factoring such agreements strongly into its financial projections for the coming fiscal year. It is in talks over infrastructure sharing with Airtel, Reliance Jio, Telenor and Vodafone.
Under these agreements, operators share passive infrastructure such as base transceiver stations, allowing customers to roam between telecom circles.
BSNL has around 114,000 towers across India – the second highest number in the country - so the deal will greatly help Aircel to extend its reach across the country. The state operator also boasts premium 900MHz spectrum for its 2G services.