Government is all set to abolish roaming charges, but how are the telecom operators dealing with it? Will they hike call rates?
BANGALORE, INDIA: Indian government is all set to abolish roaming charges when it implements the new National Telecom Policy this month.
The move is expected to leave telecom operators seething with anger as they already feel they have got a raw deal with cancellation of 2G licences and the subsequent hike in spectrum prices.
Though the government feels abolition of roaming charges is an absolute necessity to ensure affordable services, telecom providers may not be happy, though none has spoken against it in the open. The new National Telecom Policy-2012 will replace more than a decade-old legislation.
"Affordability of the consumers is the core of our policy," Sibal told reporters after a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Presently, Vodafone charges Rs.1 for all incoming calls as roaming fee and it's Rs.1.5 for STD calls. SMSes to Vodafone are charged Rs.1.5 while for other networks it is Rs.3.45.
Tata Docomo seems to have the highest roaming charges at Rs.1.5/sec for incoming Docomo calls and Rs.1 for other networks. And outgoing SMS is Rs.1.50 for Docomo phones and Rs.3.45 for other networks.
Airtel while recognizing your accessibility needs has coverage in more than 200 destinations worldwide. If you have travelled to Tamil Nadu from Karnataka then the Airtel charges will be: Outgoing local calls Rs.1 and STD Rs.1.50. And SMS charges for both local and national are Rs.1.50.
Now, with no roaming charges, the telco companies stand to lose a bit of their revenue. They need to think of some alternatives.
Agreed, the new policy envisions providing secure, reliable, affordable and high quality converged telecommunication services anytime, anywhere, but how are the telecom operators expected to cope with it? Will they hike call rates? Tell us your views in the comments section below.