The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended slashing the rates of roaming calls and SMSes by 35 and 70 percent respectively. The regulator issued a draft amendment to the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 in order to seek comments from the stakeholders. Through this amendment TRAI aims to cut down the ceiling tariffs for national roaming services.
The national roaming service allows the subscriber to avail the services subscribed in its home network at the time of travelling outside the geographical coverage area of the home network. Presently, according to the existing framework for telecom access services, the country has been divided into 22 licensed service areas.
The regulator has suggested reducing the maximum charges that can be imposed on the outgoing local calls during roaming to 65 paise per minute, from ceiling rate of Re.1 per minute, under the latest draft amendment of telecommunication tariff order. Along with this, it also recommended to cut down the long distance or STD call rates during roaming to Re.1 per minute, from maximum charge of Rs.1.5 per minute. TRAI also wants the telcos to charge a maximum of 45 paise per minute, instead of 75 paise permitted at present for incoming calls.
As per the amendment, the regulator suggested that the local SMS should be charged 20 paise maximum compared Re.1 that can be charged at present while roaming. TRAI has recommended 25 paise per STD SMS sent by customers when they are roaming, compared to the ceiling tariff of Rs.1.5 per SMS now.
The regulator has asked the stakeholders to submit the comments by 13 March, 2015.