National Roaming Costs Slashed by Up to 75 Percent in India

National Roaming Costs Slashed by Up to 75 Percent in India
Bringing some relief to subscribers, all the major telecom service providers in India have decided to slash national roaming tariffs on calls and SMS from Friday following the regulator's guidelines.

"On roaming, for all outgoing local calls, a ceiling of Rs. 0.80/minute has been fixed from the earlier Re. 1/minute, and for STD calls, it is Rs. 1.15/min from earlier Rs. 1.5/minute. For incoming calls on roaming, a ceiling of Rs. 0.45/minute has been fixed from the earlier Rs. 0.75/minute," Vodafone India said in a statement on Thursday.

Vodafone customers will now pay up to 75 percent less for texts while on roaming. For a local text, it is Rs. 0.25 compared to Re. 1 before and for STD texts, Rs. 0.38 from Rs. 1.5 earlier, it added.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on April 9 announced that it has set the ceiling for outgoing local calls while roaming at Rs. 0.80 per minute from Re.1 while it reduced the calling rate to Rs. 1.15 per minute from Rs. 1.5 a minute for STD calls (inter-circle).

Incoming calls on roaming will be charged at the most Rs. 0.45 per minute - from Rs. 0.75 charged earlier - while a maximum of Rs. 0.25 per SMS will be charged for a local SMS sent compared to Re.1 charged earlier while on roaming.

The STD SMS while on national roaming will cost Rs. 0.38 per SMS - down from Rs.1.50.

The new tariff structure will reduce call charges while nationally roaming by 20 percent and messaging charges by 75 percent.

Reliance Communications also announced a reduction in national roaming charges, with customers now having to pay 40 percent lower tariffs for incoming calls while roaming.

"On outgoing calls made while roaming anywhere in the country, both local and STD, the new charges are up to 23 percent lower," the company said in a statement.

Bharti Airtel has also reduced national roaming tariffs.

"Outgoing local SMS rate reduced up to 75 percent. Outgoing inter circle SMS rate reduced up to 74 percent. Incoming call rates reduced up to 40 percent. Outgoing inter circle call rates reduced up to 23 percent and outgoing local call rates reduced up to 20 percent," the company said in a statement.

Following suit, Idea Cellular said as per its revised tariffs, it will now offer incoming calls at just Rs. 0.45/minute, a reduction of 40 percent, while roaming anywhere in India.

"Outgoing local call rates have been reduced by 20 percent and STD call rates by 23 percent. Local SMS will now be available for just Rs. 0.25 and STD SMS for just Rs. 0.38, on roaming nationally. The revised tariffs will be applicable starting May 1, 2015 for all Idea prepaid and postpaid users across the country," the company said in a statement.

National roaming service is the facility provided to a subscriber to avail services subscribed in its home network, while travelling outside the geographical coverage area of the home network, by means of using a visited network. As per the existing framework for telecom access services, the country has been divided into 22 licensed service areas.

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