The roaming charges currently applicable to mobile users around India are expected to become free of charge from 2013. This statement was given by the Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, when replying to queries involving high roaming charges. The telecom secretary further added that the implementation would come into effect as soon as the National Telecom Policy of 2012 is introduced.
The National Telecom Policy 2012 is a procedure that aims at reducing the roaming charges throughout the nation. This would enable the telecom users to use the same mobile services they hold while travelling to other parts of the country without any extra charges.
R Chandrashekhar, the Secretary of Telecom reported work being done on creating notices that invite applications for spectrum auction. He also added that they would later be working on unified licence guidelines which are also a part of NTP 2012.
In this context, Rajan S Mathews the Director General of GSM industry body COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) appreciated the free roaming concept set to hit the market.
But he raised concerns on the details of implementing 'One Nation - Free Roaming concept. For this the ministry will have to work with the telecom regulator TRAI, which is responsible for the tariffs set. Mathew believes TRAI will follow the process of consultation paper and act accordingly to ensure subscriber satisfaction.
The consultation papers would define TRAI's expectations and the models they would be using to determine the tariffs to allow free roaming tariffs throughout the country.