Free roaming in India to be a reality soon, says TRAI

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 24, 2013

Mobility

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has completed the consultation process on nation-wide free roaming and it will give its recommendations in the next 10-15 days. “TRAI has floated a consultation paper on it (national free roaming). So, when TRAI’s recommendations are tabled then we will try to start free roaming before October,” said Union Telecom Minister, Kapil Sibal, told reporters at the launch of the National Internet Registry (NIR).

“On national roaming, the consultation has been completed, the authority is in the process of formulating its final rules before it takes a decision in 10-15 days,” said TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar to PTI.

Industry sources said national roaming is proposed to be done through special tariff vouchers, which is not exactly free, but it could bring roaming prices down as a first step. As per an Ernst and Young estimate, removing of roaming charges would cause an annualised loss of between Rs 12,500 Crore and Rs 15,000 Crore to the telecom players.

In December last year, TRAI had floated a pre-consultation paper seeking inputs from stakeholders on tariff for national roaming services.

Currently, telecom operators have to pay various charges like termination charge, interconnect charges, for completing call of their customers on to other networks which get added to the final cost of the call for the customer when they are out of their circles.