No Mobile Roaming Charges from Next Year

In the national telecom policy announced this summer , the government had promised to annul mobile roaming charges and start all India mobile number portability. Telecom minister has said that the roaming charges will be abolished from next year. So the mobile users especially frequent roamers will get benefited substantially as the roaming charges are currently much higher in comparison to the in home rates. The average price which mobile users are paying in home circle is in the range of 50 to 70 paise/minute and when subscribed to per second plan this becomes further lighter due to per second billing. More over incomings are free. On the other hand , roaming charges are in the range of Rs.1 for incoming calls and Rs. 1.50 for outgoing calls. The bill get further accentuated as these rates are normaly on per minute basis, so even for a very short (few seconds) incoming or outgoing calls customer pay for the whole minute. So naturally end of roaming charges will lead to substantial savings for frequent roamers.

On the other hand the telecom operators will loose substantial amount of money on roaming calls . The telecom operators are already languishing over the low call rates and the proposal of ending roaming charges as well will further squeeze their top lines in P & L accounts. Another issue would be interconnect charges. Currently operators pay each other for carrying the traffic of operator on others network, when customers roam on to any other operators network. If interconnect charges too are waived off then the big operators will be sufferers and smaller ones would be gainers.

However, the issue will take much of time as there is still lot of work to be done from government side before implementing this. The TRAI will float consultation paper inviting views of all stakeholders and after considering the views of all the policy would be decided.

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