Offering Drive Through Roaming by Bridging Celcos

Mobilink_TelenorJust as you run out of the coverage area of one mobile operator, imagine how it would be to be served by another cellular network operator.

While the two major cellular network operators (Mobilink and Telenor) are undergoing restructuring from engineering and human resource vantage point to equip themselves for handling future data networks, it seems prudent to discuss new ideas and probable work-around to maximize profit, facilitation to subscribers and a new telecommunication “eco-system”.

The assortment of cellular towers which cloud the metropolitan cities of the country have long been a threat to the equilibrium between environmental hygiene and seamless connectivity.

With the development in backhaul networks and innovative models proposed worldwide, it seems lucrative to establish unison between the radio and core ends of two mobile network operators, as a result granting “drive-through” roaming. The subscribers can hop on the two networks while successfully maintaining the radio signaling links with the core end, and the mobile station will be allowed to scan radio signals from both the Base Transceiver Stations.

Telenor has major share in the parent company Vimpelcom that owns Mobilink. While it undergoes a nationwide end-to-end swap to ZTE (to be completed by September 2013), and Mobilink finalizes the decision to award a five (plus) years of complete planning and optimization contract to two of the four bidding vendors, Telenor can perhaps have a 50-50 joint venture with Mobilink that will allow subscribers of both networks to roam across both networks at no additional cost.

Meanwhile both the operators shall operate, maintain and optimize their networks as separate entities. This proposition proceeds from the much appreciated merger between T-Mobile and Orange in UK called “Everything Everywhere”.

As Mobilink awards a long term Managed Services and radio planning/optimization contract to the two vendors (so far Alcatel Lucent and Huawei as finalists), it’ll have to shift its permanent resource to the vendors for a certain number of years. This shift of resource can very well be coupled with such a venture. A deal as big as this, has to flow from the ranks of Vimpelcom excellencies where Telenor holds a lion’s share of stake.

The idea and its implementation seems a far off thing, no doubt, but there’s no harm in juggling with the balls before the curtain parts. This will largely affect the technical end of 3G implementation and, what seems certain at this point in time, shall reduce the capital expenditures for both networks while operational expenditures remain the same resulting into higher customer satisfaction and increased revenues. Win-win situation for everyone.