statesman news service
KOLKATA, 17 JUNE: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today reduced ceilings on national roaming call and SMS and instituted a new regime for providing flexibility to telecom service providers to customise tariffs for national roamers through STVs and Combo Vouchers.
Trai has also mandated two types of free national roaming plans to be provided by all telecom service providers. These changes will come into effect from 1 July.
The ceiling tariffs prescribed by Trai in the year 2007 were Rs 1.40 per minute for outgoing local calls and Rs 2.40 per minute for outgoing STD calls while on national roaming. These ceilings have been reduced to Re 1.00 per minute and Re 1.50 per minute respectively.
Similarly, the ceiling tariffs for incoming calls while on national roaming have been reduced from Rs 1.75 per minute to Re 0.75 per minute. Tariffs for outgoing SMS while on national roaming which were earlier under forbearance have now been capped: outgoing SMS-local at Re 1.00 per SMS and outgoing SMS-STD at Rs 1.50 per SMS. Incoming SMS will remain free of charge.
With increased subscribers and usage, the costs associated with national roaming have declined, but not vanished. There are still real costs incurred in providing the national roaming facility. Mandating a fully free roaming regime is simply not practicable at this juncture, Trai said.