TRAI: National roaming to become cheaper and not free

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked mobile operators to offer customized roaming tariffs to customers.

TRAI has also reduced tariffs ceiling for incoming calls while on national roaming to Rs 0.75 per minute from Rs 1.75 per minute.

On the other hand, tariffs ceiling on outgoing local calls will be reduced to Rs 1 per minute from Rs 1.40 per minute, while tariffs ceiling on outgoing STD calls will be slashed to Rs 1.50 per minute from Rs 2.40 per minute, TRAI said on Monday.

Tariffs ceiling on outgoing local SMS will be Rs 1 per SMS and outgoing STD SMS will be Rs 1.50 per SMS. Incoming SMS while roaming will remain free of charge.

TRAI says the best forward to establish a tariff regime in which roamers self select themselves out. STVs and combo vouchers will offer flexibility to service providers to customize tariffs.

In a fresh mandate, telecom operators will be prompted to offer new Special tariff vouchers (STVs) and Combo Vouchers.

These changes will be effective July 1, 2013.

TRAI says the new regime will assist mobile users to benefit from lower rates on roaming calls and SMS.

The new regime will lead to free national roaming soon. However, TRAI says Indian telecom operators will not be able to offer free national offering for the time being. Free national roaming was one of the features of the National Telecom Policy 2012. Earlier, telecom minister Kapil Sibal said that India will have free national roaming soon.

[email protected]