Airtel proposes roaming pact to all telcos to avoid service interruption

08:33 AM Mar 24, 2020 | PTI |
New Delhi: Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has written to its competitors Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, BSNL and MTNL 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 (SOP-17) 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 TSPs 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 curfew to check movement of people to contain 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. The company said the government has implemented social distancing measures through various interventions, such as closure of commercial establishments, social centers, educational institutes and has also advised work from home in the case of offices and organizations. "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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