State-run telecom firm BSNL may have ruled out the possibility of having national roaming arrangements with private mobile players, but it plans to launch global roaming with about 400 foreign operators.
"BSNL desires to establish agreements and thereafter launch commercial roaming with around 400 foreign operators including some priority operators," a BSNL official said.
As on October this year, the company has negotiated, finalised and signed agreements with 136 foreign operators in 90 countries. Out of these, commercial roaming has been launched with 68 foreign operators in 50 countries.
Once this happens, this will enable BSNL mobile users to be able to roam with the specified operator of the foreign country. BSNL does not have roaming arrangement with private players for country-wide roaming. It only roams within its own and MTNL networks.
BSNL is in the process of appointing consultants engaged in the field of International Roaming. The consultants will contact, negotiate and finalize bilateral international roaming agreements between BSNL and foreign mobile operators for all possible services including voice, SMS, data and for all categories of subscribers.
The need to have more international roaming arrangement emerged as the PSU plans to augment its mobile network to reach a mind-boggling capacity of 90 million over the next four years with a mix of 2G and 3G services.