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Free roaming by October: Kapil Sibal

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Reiterating the government stand, telecom minister Kapil Sibal has said that roaming charges could be abolished by October this year. Sibal, on the sidelines of an event, said that nationwide free roaming would be feasible by October 2013.

The National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012 envisages the concept of one nation, one number that talks of eliminating roaming charges. Telecom watchdog TRAI has already undertaken the consultation process with operators and has concluded pilot projects.

Earlier, speaking to CIOL, telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar had said that free roaming would be a reality in 2013, but he had declined to divulge the precise time frame. "TRAI has done formal consultation with various stakeholders and conducted open house process and has undertaken trials within the time-frame," he said.

As part of NTP that has been approved by the Cabinet in May 2012, government wants to end roaming charges, but there has been resistance from the operators who believe it could hit  their revenues. COAI also suggested the government to address other issues before taking a final call.

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