04:46 pm - Saturday 29 April 2017

TRAI releases paper on national roaming tariffs

By Parvina Purkayastha - Sat Dec 22, 10:05 am

Telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India)  floated a pre-consultation paper seeking inputs from stakeholders on tariff for national roaming services, moving a step closer to providing free roaming by 2013.

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.

The Pre-Consultation seeks views of stakeholders on various aspects of National Roaming Services like the cost components to be considered, the manner of recovery of cost in case incoming calls are to be made free, tariff for video calls and SMS while roaming, need for permitting Special Tariff Vouchers for roaming subscribers etc”, it said in a statement.

At present, telecom operators have to pay various charges like termination charge, interconnect charges etc. for completing call of their customers on to other networks which get added to the final cost of a call for customers.

Early this month, Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had announced that the roaming will be free from next year.

The National Telecom Policy (NTP) provides for abolition of roaming charges and allows users to retain the same number across the country.

The tariff for Nation Roaming Services was last specified by the Authority vide Telecommunication Tariff Order (44th Amendment) dated the 24th January, 2007. The regimes governing some of the cost components which formed part of the national roaming charges have changed since that time.

The Access Deficit Charges regime has been phased out in 2008 and termination charges lowered from Rs.0.30 to Rs.0.20 per minute in the year 2009. The National Telecom Policy, 2012, as one of its strategies, has mentioned review of roaming charges with the ultimate objective of removing the roaming charges across the nation.

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