It is official. Roaming is not going to be free.
Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecom service provider, and Idea Cellular on Monday are launching "fixed fee" plans for subscribers who want to use nation-wide free roaming.
Bharti Airtel launched a prepaid voucher of R5 per day for unlimited roaming for pre-paid users. For post-paid users there is a monthly rental of R75 per month that coupled with different bill plans makes roaming cheaper.
Idea Cellular also came out with an attractive plan. It launched a voucher priced between R230 and R240 (depending on the states) that allow a subscriber to make calls at "the same rates for local, STD, ISD calling, and SMS, as the user pays for using these services while in the home circle."
The voucher is valid within six months of recharge.
Under another plan of R35-40, outgoing will be free and the subscribers will have to pay only 75 paise per minute for incoming calls.
When asked, Vodafone India spokesperson did not confirm its plans. However, sources said that the company would also offer similar tariff schemes for its roaming subscribers.
Reliance Communications also declined to comment.
"The new fee is as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) tariff order issued on June 17," said Rajan S Mathews, director-general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
IT minister Kapil Sibal had announced in March that free nation-wide roaming will be implemented from July 1. Telecom service providers opposed it, saying that it would increase tariff for subscribers.