Telecoms gear up for roaming tariff war

Major telecom service providers in India have decided to slash national roaming tariffs on calls and SMS from May 1 following TRAI guidelines.

“On roaming, for all outgoing local calls, a ceiling of 80 paisa / minute has been fixed from the earlier Re 1 / minute, and for STD calls, it is Rs 1.15 / min from earlier Rs 1.5 / minute. For incoming calls on roaming, a ceiling of 45 paisa / minute has been fixed from the earlier 75 paisa / minute,” Vodafone India said in a statement here on Thursday.

Vodafone customers will now pay up to 75 percent less for texts while on roaming. For a local text, it is 25 paise compared to Re.1 before and for STD texts, 38 paise from Rs.1.5 earlier, it added.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on April 9 announced that it has set the ceiling for outgoing local calls while roaming at 80 paise per minute from Re.1 while it reduced the calling rate to Rs.1.15 per minute from Rs.1.5 a minute for STD calls (inter-circle).

Incoming calls on roaming will be charged at the most 45 paisa per minute – from 75 paisa charged earlier – while a maximum of 25 paisa per SMS will be charged for a local SMS sent compared to Re 1 charged earlier while on roaming.

The STD SMS while on national roaming will cost 38 paisa per SMS – down from Rs 1.50.

The new tariff structure will reduce call charges while nationally roaming by 20 percent and messaging charges by 75 percent.

Mobile users
Reliance Communications also announced a reduction in national roaming charges, with customers now having to pay 40 percent lower tariffs for incoming calls while roaming.

“On outgoing calls made while roaming anywhere in the country, both local and STD, the new charges are up to 23 percent lower,” the company said in a statement.

Bharti Airtel has also reduced national roaming tariffs.

“Outgoing local SMS rate reduced up to 75 percent. Outgoing inter circle SMS rate reduced up to 74 percent. Incoming call rates reduced up to 40 percent. Outgoing inter circle call rates reduced up to 23 percent and outgoing local call rates reduced up to 20 percent,” the company said in a statement.

Following suit, Idea Cellular said as per its revised tariffs, it will now offer incoming calls at just 45 paisa / minute, a reduction of 40 percent, while roaming anywhere in India.

“Outgoing local call rates have been reduced by 20 percent and STD call rates by 23 percent. Local SMS will now be available for just 25 paisa and STD SMS for 38 paisa, on roaming nationally. The revised tariffs will be applicable starting May 1, 2015 for all Idea prepaid and postpaid users across the country,” the company said in a statement.