In a bid to enhance competitiveness in global roaming and corporate mobile services, seven of Asia's leading mobile operators, including Hutchison Essar, have formed an alliance.
The alliance has been tentatively christened Asia-Pacific Mobile Alliance.
Apart from India 's Hutchison Essar, the telecom players in the alliance include Far EasTone Telecommunications (Taiwan), Hutchison Telecommunications (Hong Kong) Ltd, KK Freetel (Republic of Korea), NTT DoCoMo (Japan), PT Indosat (Indonesia) and StarHub (Singapore).
A communication from the alliance said the coming together of these prominent telecom players means multinationals as well as business and leisure travelers would be able to enjoy greater convenience, and value-added mobile features when they roam onto other members' mobile networks.
The Asia-Pacific Mobile Alliance, which collectively has a customer base of about 100 million mobile subscribers spread across eight nations and regions, plans to promote voice, video and data via members' GSM/GPRS and W-CDMA networks. This is intended to begin roaming services via HSDPA networks once the market is ready for it.
The alliance also targets creation of a virtual home environment among customers of member operators so as to ensure seamless and convenient services while roaming.
Among other services on the anvil is cross-border customer support for MNCs. It is also working towards a caller ID display service and a short-code service, which would allow travellers quick and easy connection to their home country operator's voice mail and customer support.