With the removal of the restrictions on intra-circle 3G roaming between telecom operators, Vodafone India has restarted 3G services in 13 states including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
Vodafone follows Idea and Airtel in restarting their 3G services under intra-circle roaming pacts.
Intra circle roaming pact allows companies that do not have spectrum for a particular services — such as voice calls or data services — to depend on others who have spectrum and launch services.
This had been termed as illegal by the government. But the telecom disputes forum had held that it was not illegal as the government had given the companies the right to offer any kind of communication services under its ‘universal’ license.
The government had argued that operators would need special license for offering 3G services.
Unlike Airtel, which is offering 1 GB of 3G data for Rs 350 in the newly started service areas like Maharashtra, both Vodafone and Idea had stuck to their earlier and pan-India price of Rs 250 per GB.
Airtel is offering 1 GB of 3G data at Rs 250 in the circles where it has its own 3G spectrum, such as Delhi. It must also be remembered that Airtel may be trying to drive more customers to its 4G LTE service, which competes with 3G.
Under Vodafone’s new plans for the roaming circles, users can buy 300 MB of 3G data for about Rs 100, 500 MB for about Rs 150, 2 GB for about Rs 450 and 10 GB for about Rs 1,500 — largely the same rates as the other two operators.