Bharti Airtel Proposes Roaming Pact To All Telecom Companies To Avoid Service Disruption
Pedestrians walk past a Bharti Airtel Ltd. store in Mumbai, India, on February 3, 2020. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Bharti Airtel Proposes Roaming Pact To All Telecom Companies To Avoid Service Disruption

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Telecom operator Bharti Airtel Ltd. has written to its competitors Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd., Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. for a roaming agreement to facilitate uninterrupted services to support work from home offered by almost all entities in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led firm on Sunday approached its competitors to set up intra-circle roaming and other processes in the way it is done by the sector to respond to disasters. "In line with the Standard Operating Procedure for Telecommunication Services for responding to Disasters, as issued by the Department of Telecommunications, we would like to put in place a protocol amongst the telecom service providers for implementation of various measures, including intra-circle roaming," Bharti Airtel said in the letter.

State governments across the country have either resorted to lockdown or imposed a curfew to check the movement of people to contain the spread of coronavirus. Airtel said the arrangement will be particularly relevant where a site is shut or where the telecom operator is not able to manage the up-time, so that, we can collectively ensure that the services are not interrupted.

Also read: Airtel, Vodafone Must Disclose Workings Used To Arrive At Government Dues: Kotak Report

The company said the government has implemented social distancing measures through various interventions, such as the closure of commercial establishments, social centres, educational institutes and has also advised work from home in the case of offices and organisations. "In such circumstances, it is incumbent on the telecom industry to ensure continuous and uninterrupted availability of telecom and internet services, which are essentially the backbone of the digital infrastructure," the letter said.

The ministries of electronics and IT and communications have already issued circulars and modified rules to facilitate work from home.

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