Roaming will be free from 2013: Kapil Sibal
By Parvina Purkayastha - Wed Dec 12, 4:39 pm
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“Roaming will be free in 2013. We have to get Cabinet approval and then it comes back to us. And then it will be floated,” he said today at a press conference.
The government had earlier this year announced “one nation, free roaming” as part of its National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012. NTP provides for abolition of roaming charges and allows users to retain the same number across the country.
The policy, approved in May, aims to abolish roaming charges and allow mobile phone subscribers to use same number across country without having to pay extra charges for services once they are outside their telecom circle.
At present, mobile users pay around 60 paise a minute in their home market while shelling out Rs 1.25-1.50 a minute while roaming in another telecom circle.
Rajan Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India had the industry group that represents the GSM lobby had said the move will benefit only 10% of the customers.
Another apprehension is that the telecom operators may hike tariff in order to make up for the losses incurred on roaming charges front.
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