Roaming rates reduced, free national roaming still a distance dream

Technology

New Delhi/June 18
Now consumers will have to pay lower charges while roaming as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had reduced the tariffs but Indian government’s ambitious project of providing free national roaming still seems to be distance dream.
Though the telecom regulatory authority has reduced roaming tariffs for calls and SMSs, the authority on the issue of providing free national roaming said that there are still real costs incurred in providing the national roaming facility and mandating a fully free roaming regime is simply not practicable at this juncture.
“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 service providers would pass these costs on to all consumers (predominantly non-roamers) through higher tariffs,” added TRAI.
Though TRAI has cut the ceiling for national roaming calls and SMSs and have provided flexibility to telecom service providers to offer free roaming through special tariff vouchers (STV) or combo vouchers to consumers.
Meanwhile, roaming rate for outgoing local calls has been reduced to Rs 1 per minute from Rs 1.40 per minute and Rs 1.50 per minute for outgoing STD calls from Rs 2.40 per minute. While charges for incoming calls has been fixed at 75 paise per minute from Rs 1.75 per minute.
Roaming tariff for outgoing local SMSs has been fixed at Rs 1 per SMS and outgoing STD SMSs at Rs 1.50 by TRAI while incoming SMSs remain free.

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