As a major relief for frequent travelers in India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reduced ceiling price for national roaming calls and SMS that telecom operators can charge subscribers while they are in roaming. With this reduced ceiling it’s excepted that telecom operators would reduce roaming charges on voice calls and SMS. The following pricing structure from TRAI will come into effect from 1st July, 2013.

With increased subscriber base and usage the cost associated with national roaming has declined to a considerable amount. But still telecom operators are incurring cost in providing the national roaming facility, thus at this time it’s not practical to offer full free national roaming as in National Telecom Policy 2012 (NTP 2012) says TRAI.

Roaming Charges for Calls and SMS to Come Down by around 50% - TRAI

The earlier ceiling tariffs was set by TRAI in the year 2001 as Rs 1.40 per minute for outgoing local calls and Rs 2.40 per minute for outgoing STD calls on national roaming. This has been now reduced to Rs 1 per minute for outgoing local calls and Rs 1.40 per minute for outgoing STD calls while on roaming. Similarly the ceiling tariffs for incoming calls while on roaming have been reduced from Rs 1.75 per minute to Rs 0.75 per minute. Tariffs for outgoing SMS while on roaming have now been capped with outgoing SMS-local at Rs 1 per SMS and SMS STD at Rs 1.50 per SMS. As earlier the incoming SMS on roaming will remain free of charge.

For instance BSNL in Kerala is charging Rs 1 per minute for outgoing local calls and Rs 1.50 for outgoing STD calls while roaming. Here the outgoing STD calls on roaming will be reduced to less than Rs 1.40 per minute. Similarly the charge for incoming calls as of now is Rs 1 per minute which probably will reduced by around 0.25 per minute to new capped rate of Rs 0.75 per minute.

In addition TRAI has decided that Special Tariff Vouchers (STVs) and Combo Vouchers which were allowed only for home tariffs can be permitted for roaming tariffs. This will allow telecom operators to offer special plans for roaming subscribers.

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