State-run BSNL has reduced international roaming tariff for foreigners using its network in the country by up to 40 per cent, a relief for tourists who often complain of high telephone charges while on move in India.
The reduction, to be effective from July 1, is likely to put pressure on private operators to replicate the reduction.
Currently, if a tourist using services of a European operator was to use BSNL's network while on roaming in India, the average tariff is about Rs 50 per minute for an outgoing local or STD call, Rs 99 per minute for an ISD call and Rs 75 per minute for an incoming call.
For foreigners visiting India, the tariff for outgoing local/STD call is slashed to about Rs 30 per minute from Rs 49, while an ISD call will cost Rs 70 per minute from the earlier Rs 99. For an incoming call, a person has to pay Rs 50 per minute instead of earlier Rs 75 a minute, officials of the PSU said.
They said the condition for the reduced tariff is that the foreigner has to be a customer of designated operators with whom BSNL has bilateral agreement.
This global roaming tariff is applicable to international in-roamers of those foreign operators with whom direct bilateral agreement has been signed and commercially launched, the officials said.
GSM operators earn about Rs 4,500 crore a year from tourists visiting India using local network for calls.
BSNL gets about Rs 90 crore a year as revenue from foreign tourists on international roaming.