There you go, one nation, one charge, one mobile number. India’s top telecom operator Bharti Airtel will end all domestic roaming charges on voice calls, SMS and data usage. “This marks the death of national roaming and the whole country will now be like a local network for our customers,” says Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel during an event at MWC 2017.
Starting 1st April 2017, Airtel’s 268 million subscribers (+ the 44 million from Telenor once the merger completes) will become a local customer across the country. You will get free incoming calls and SMS while on roaming. There will be no extra charges for outgoing voice calls and SMS while roaming in India. In addition, if you have recharged for a 4G or 3G data pack then there won’t be any additional data charges while using it on national roaming. The data charges based on your home telecom circle will be applicable across India.
- There will be zero national roaming charges.
- When you are on national roaming, there won’t bet any extra roaming charges for any incoming calls and SMS.
- There won’t be any extra charges for outgoing calls and SMS when roaming in India.
- No extra charges for using 4G/3G/2G data while on roaming.
- It’s applicable to pan-India Prepaid and Postpaid subscribers.
If you are frequent traveller outside India then Airtel also got new plans to avoid those bill shocks. For international roaming, the operator has already got the most affordable international roaming packs ranging from one day, 10 days or 30 days validity. These packs offer free incoming calls, free SMS and free India calling minutes along with bundled data benefits.
However, some customers seem to forget to choose these packs and get affected by the big bill shocks. This mainly due to the hefty roaming charges on international telecom networks.
Starting 1st April 2017, Airtel customers on international roaming who do not subscribe to an international roaming pack will be protected from bill shock. How do they do that? The operator will automatically adjust their bill that is equal to the daily pack for that particular country. That means when your international roaming bill reaches the price of the one-day package for the country, you will be automatically moved to that pack. That’s saving you lots of money while on roaming and you also get additional benefits for free.
So, here how it works. Consider you are travelling to the US without subscribing or recharging to any international roaming pack. When your bill hits the threshold of Rs 649, which is the price of the one day pack for the US, Airtel will automatically move you to that one day pack. Under that pack, you will get addition benefits like free incoming calls, 100 minutes to India, free SMS to India and 300MB of data benefits.
If you exhaust even the daily pack, Airtel will offer call charges by up to 90 percent reduction. Outgoing calls to India would be as low as Rs 3 per minutes. Also, data charges after the free limit are up to 99 percent lower or Rs 3 per MB across every destination.
Auto International roaming pack activation
- Airtel will automatically activate the international roaming pack when your roaming bill reaches that packs price range.
- Free incoming calls while on international roaming.
- Additional voice minutes to India and free SMS.
- Additional 4G/3G data benefits.
- Voice rates up to 90 percent discount and data charges up to 99 percent discount
Currently, the new entrant in the Indian telecom sector Reliance Jio is the only one offering free roaming across India. The operator currently not levying any extra roaming charges for voice, SMS and data usage from subscribers while on roaming. The government owned telco BSNL also offers free incoming calls, SMS and data usage while you are at national roaming.