India's largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel today announced that that there will not be any roaming charges on its network.
"Starting April 1, 2017, Airtel customers roaming within India will enjoy free incoming calls/SMS and there will be no premium on outgoing calls allowing them to speak freely wherever they are within the country. Also, there will be no additional data charges on national roaming. Home data packs for customers will apply even while they roam across India," the company said in a statement.
"This marks the death of national roaming and the whole country will now be like a local network for our customers, who will not have to think twice before making or receiving calls or using data while traveling outside their home base. Airtel has again set the benchmark in delivering best in class value backed by a great network experience," said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.
This move will benefit its 268 million mobile customers. The offer comes soon after Reliance Jio's introduction of new pricing plan, which also includes free domestic voice calls to any network.
Even customers on international roaming without a pack will be fully protected from "bill shocks" through an automatic adjustment that is equal to the daily pack for that particular country, the company said.
"This means that the moment a customer's billing reaches the price of a one-day pack for the country, he/she will be automatically moved to that pack. This will allow our customers to use their devices abroad without any fear," the company said.
Last year in October, country's second largest telecom service provider, Vodafone announced free roaming on incoming calls to its network, while the roaming charges on both outgoing calls and on data usage continued to apply to its customers.
Airtel has reported a 55 percent drop in its net profit in the December quarter, the company had posted its worst report in four years, while Idea posted its first ever net loss since its listing in 2007.