Roaming Charges to Come Down; Free Roaming Remains a Pipe Dream

India’s telecom regulator has reduced the ceiling price that a provider can charge consumers while they are in roaming. With this, roaming charges are set to come down.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said:

The ceiling tariffs prescribed by Trai in the year 2007 were Rs 1.4 per minute for outgoing calls and Rs 2.40 per minute for outgoing STD calls while on national roaming. These ceilings have been reduced to Rs 1 per minute and Rs 1.50 per minute respectively. Similarly, the ceiling tariffs for incoming calls while on national roaming have been reduced from Rs 1.75 per minute to Rs .75 per minute. Tariffs for outgoing sms while on national roaming which were earlier under forbearance have now been capped: outgoing sms – local at Rs 1 per sms and outgoing sms- std at Rs 1.50 per sms. Incoming sms will remain free of charge.

Old and New Roaming Charge Ceiling

Essentially, telecom operators who have been charging more that the new ceiling price will have to cut their rates. For instance, Airtel currently charges* Rs 1 for local outgoing calls while roaming and Rs 1.50 for outgoing STD calls while roaming. So don’t expect any changes here. However, for incoming calls while roaming, there will be a Rs 0.25 reduction. Outgoing local sms will be cheaper by Rs 0.50 for Airtel subscribers.

The regulator said that mandating a fully free roaming regime is simply not practicable at this juncture.

* The prices are specific to the regions we selected (Kerala & Karnataka in this case)

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