Aiming to give some benefit to mobile phone subscribers, the telecom regulator has reduced tariff ceiling for national roaming calls and messages and has mandated telecom service providers (TSPs) to offer a special roaming tariff plan, an official said here on Thursday.
These changes will come into effect from May 1 next. "All subscribers will benefit from the reduced ceilings... competitive pricing below the new ceiling levels is expected," the regulator said in a statement.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has set the ceiling for outgoing local calls while roaming at 80 paise per minute from Re.1 while it reduced the calling rate to Rs.1.15 per minute from Rs.1.50 a minute for STD calls (inter-circle).
Incoming calls on roaming will be charged at the most 45 paise per minute -- from 75 paise charged earlier -- while a maximum of 25 paise 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 38 paise 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.
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. Tariff for national roaming services were last revised in 2013 through the Telecommunications Tariff Order (55th Amendment), 2013 dated June 17, 2013.