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Roaming rates to get cheaper from May 1 as TRAI cuts SMS, call tariffs

This is surely good news for mobile phone uses. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reduced ceiling tariffs for national roaming service from May 1 and directed telecom companies to offer special roaming tariff plan from the same date.

According to the reduced tariff outgoing local voice call on roaming will cost Re. 0.80/minute while incoming local call charges on roaming will be Re. 0.45/minute. Outgoing local SMS on national roaming will now coast 25 paise per SMS from the present Re. 1. At present, outgoing voice call and SMS on national roaming costs Re. 1/minute while incoming voice call is Re. 0.75/minute.

Outgoing long distance (inter-circle) call while on national roaming will be Rs. 1.15/minute from the existing Rs. 1.50/minute. Outgoing long distance (inter-circle) SMS while on national roaming will be Re. 0.38 per SMS from the existing Rs. 1.50 per SMS.

“All subscribers will benefit from the reduced ceilings; competitive pricing below the new ceiling levels is expected,” TRAI Secretary Sudhir Gupta said in the press release issued on Thursday.

National roaming service is the facility provided to a subscriber to avail services subscribed in its home network, while travelling outside the geographical coverage area of the home network, by means of using a visited network.

As per the existing framework for telecom access services, the country has been divided into 22 licensed service areas. Licenses are issued separately for each licensed service area. When a subscriber avails mobile services outside his home network, within the country, national roaming becomes applicable.

Tariffs for national roaming services were last revised in 2013 through the Telecommunications Tariff Order (55th Amendment), 2013 dated 17.06.2013. While formulating the revised tariff regime for national roaming, TRAI had indicated that the new tariff regime shall be subject to review after a year.

TRAI issued a Draft Telecommunication Tariff (60th Amendment) Order, 2015 on 27.02.2015 for comments of the stakeholders. After examining the comments of the stakeholders and further analysis, the Authority revised the ceiling tariffs for voice calls and SMS while on national roaming.

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