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Reduce roaming rates: Maran GSM to operators

GSM based mobile subscriber base has touched 2 bn making it the fastest tech growth ever witnessed in the world.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 18:33 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Concerned over the high international roaming rates at a time when domestic rates have reached rock bottom, Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran asked worldwide GSM operators to bring down the roaming rates.

Addressing the media after GSM Association's Board meeting, Maran asked the international operators to reduce the international roaming rates to benefit customers.

On an average, a customer spends over Rs 100 a minute for making a call while roaming overseas, even as international roaming tariffs vary from operator to operator depending on their negotiations with overseas partners for settlement of termination and other charges.

The GSM Association, which has over 700 operators as members, held its Board meeting in India for the first time, though did not make any announcement in this regard but are likely to respond positively to the Minister's request.

The GSM technology based mobile subscriber base has touched two billion this month making it the fastest growth of technology ever witnessed in the world, GSMA announced here.

GSM-based mobile services have also seen phenomenal growth in India, where out of the 100 million mobile subscriber base, the GSM based mobile user base is 80 million.

"India has played a vital role in this growth being one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world," Sunil Mittal CMD Bharti Airtel and a board member of GSM Association told reporters.

China is the largest single GSM market in the world today with more than 370 million users.

Craig Ehrlich, GSMA Chairman said, "While it took 12 years for the industry to reach the first billion connection, the second billion has been achieved in just two and half years, boosted by the phenomenal growth of mobiles in emerging markets like China, India, Africa, Latin America, accounting 82 per cent of the second billion subscribers."

First Published: Jun 13, 2006 15:42 IST