Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday lowered the ceiling for national roaming tariff from R1.40 per minute for outgoing local calls and Rs. 2.40 per minute for outgoing STD calls to R1 and R1.50 per minute respectively.
This is not likely to have much impact on consumers, however, as most operators are already offering services at the new rates.
For incoming calls, the ceiling has been reduced from R1.75 per minute to 75 paise per minute. This will help subscribers as operators currently charge R1 per minute for incoming calls.
Subscribers will now pay only R1 for outgoing local SMS while roaming. Currently, the operators charge about Rs. 1.50 per outgoing SMS. The new tariff will come into effect from July 1.
The regulator has also said the operators can offer special tariff plans to subscribers, if they want nation-wide free roaming. This means that the subscribers will have to pay a price for national roaming.
"We are happy that the regulator has agreed with the industry observation that national roaming can not be free as it has a cost attached to it," said Rajan S Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).