Telecom operator Aircel announced on Wednesday that its customers in five southern states will not be charged for incoming calls and will need to pay only 1 paisa per second for making calls while they are on roaming in the region from June 11.
"We are launching the industry first plan on roaming, which is applicable to South India.... We have a uniform roaming tariff across South India; this service will be applicable for existing and new customers of Aircel, whether on prepaid or on postpaid," Aircel Karnataka Circle Business Head Kanwarbir Singh told reporters here.
The offering announced under 'Five States, One Rate' scheme requires no separate recharge or pack activation and will be activated by default with effect from June 11, 2015.
It will enable all existing and new prepaid and postpaid Aircel customers, to roam freely on Aircel network between the five states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the company officials said.
Aircel customers in South traveling between these states will incur no incoming call charges and outgoing calls will be charged at a minimal rate of only 1 paisa per second for both local and STD calls.
All SMS and Pocket Internet packs will remain unchanged and customers can continue to use them as per their already applicable rates and packs, they added.
Pointing out that Aircel has added 360 new towers in the state in the last six months both on 2G and 3G put together, Singh said, "So we are investing in our network primarily in Bangalore.
We will be putting 200 more (towers) in next three to four months."As per new rule effective from May 1, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has cut the maximum or ceiling rate that a telecom operator can charge for STD calls on roaming to Rs 1.15 per minute from Rs 1.5.
Similarly, national SMS rate has been reduced to 38 paise from Rs 1.5 per SMS.
Also, an operator can charge a maximum 25 paise for each local SMS instead of the current Rs 1 per SMS at present.
A telecom operator can charge a maximum 80 paise per minute for a local call instead of Rs 1 permitted at present.
For incoming calls during roaming, a mobile customer will be required to pay a maximum of 45 paise only per minute instead of 75 paise now.