Roaming charges to come down
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has today reduced the national roaming charges national SMS that will come into effect from Jul1, 2013. The ceiling tariffs per minute for outgoing local calls have been brought down to Re 1 from Rs. 1.40, which was prescribed by TRAI in 2007 and for outgoing STD calls while on national roaming it has been brought down to Rs. 1.50 per minute from Rs.2.40 per minute earlier.
Similarly, the ceiling tariffs for incoming calls while on national roaming have been reduced from Rs 1.75 per minute to 75 paise per minute. Tariffs for outgoing SMS while on national roaming which were earlier under forbearance have now been capped: outgoing SMS-local at Rs. 1.00 per SMS and outgoing SMS-STD at Rs. 1.50 per SMS. Incoming SMS will remain free of charge.
While the telecom regulatory body has amped up its efforts to provide free roaming for Indian citizens, it however, shared that at this juncture it is not possible to do so as there are real costs involved in providing roaming services to customers. “Compelling a transition to a fully free national roaming regime would result in telecom service providers not being able to recover their costs from roamers. In turn, telecom providers would pass on these costs to the consumers (pre-dominantly non-roamers) through higher tariffs,” TRAI wrote in its circular released today.
In working towards free roaming, TRAI is keeping in mind the need to keep costs to roamers at a minimum. In this context, TRAI has decided to that Special Tariff Vouchers (STV) and Combo Vouchers, which were hitherto allowed only to home tariffs, be allowed for roaming tariffs as well. This will give the service providers the greatest flexibility in customizing tariffs for their roaming subscribers. Further, TRAI has also mandated that service providers offer special plans for roaming subscribers in which users can avail of partially free roaming or fully free roaming in lieu for payment of fixed charges.
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