There is good news for the 930 million mobile subscribers of India. Come 2013, they will be able to travel across the country without having to pay any roaming charges, announced communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal at New Delhi on Monday.
Currently, a subscriber has to pay up to Rs. 1 per minute as roaming charge. Some of the new operators, however, do not charge any roaming fee if the incoming call is from the same network.
Experts, however, say its exact impact on customers will depend on the way it is implemented.
"If the government abolishes roaming charges, there is a possibility that operators might increase STD tariff. In that case, customers won’t benefit," said BK Syngal, former CMD of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd.
Director general of Cellular Operators Association of India Rajan S Mathews said the industry will work closely with the telecom regulatory authority of India to finalise details of the new roaming-free tariff regime.