TRAI reduces national roaming tariff ceilings, permits customized tariffs through special Tariff vouchers for national roamers and mandates free national roaming plans:
TRAI has reduced ceilings for national roaming calls and SMS and instituted a new regime for providing flexibility to telecommunication service suppliers to customize tariffs for national roamers through STVs and band Vouchers. TRAI has also mandated 2 types of free national roaming plans to be provided by all telecommunication service suppliers. These changes can get impact from first July 2013.
National roaming service is that the facility provided to a subscriber to use his cell-phone to make and receive voice calls and SMS when move outside the geographical coverage space of his home network, by using a visited network. within the Indian context, national roaming refers to facilities for making and receiving calls and SMS when the subscriber is move in a very State which is different from the State of his residence.
The present exercise to review national roaming tariffs was initiated by TRAI earlier this year within the context of decline in costs and the declared intent within the New telecommunication Policy-2012 to move towards One Nation-Free Roaming throughout the country.
The ceiling tariffs prescribed by TRAI within the year 2007 were Rs. 1.40 per minute for outgoing local calls and Rs.2.40 per minute for outgoing STD calls whereas on national roaming. These ceilings have been reduced to Re. 1.00 per minute and Re. 1.50 per minute respectively. Similarly, the ceiling tariffs for incoming calls whereas on national roaming have been reduced from Rs. 1.75 per minute to Re. 0.75 per minute. Tariffs for outgoing SMS whereas on national roaming which were earlier below forbearance have currently been capped: outgoing SMS-local at Re. 1.00 per SMS and outgoing SMS-STD at Rs. 1.50 per SMS. Incoming SMS can stay free of charge.
With raised subscribers and usage, the prices associated with national roaming have declined, however not vanished. There ar still real costs incurred in providing the national roaming facility. Mandating a completely free roaming regime is just not practicable at this juncture. Compelling a transition to a completely free national roaming regime would lead to telecommunication service suppliers not being able to recover their costs from roamers. In turn, telecommunication service suppliers would pass these costs on to any or all shoppers (predominantly non-roamers) through higher tariffs.
TRAI feels that the most effective manner forward is to determine a tariff regime in which roamers self-select themselves out so minimize the impact on the rest of the subscriber community. In operating towards free roaming, TRAI has also borne in mind the necessity to keep costs to roamers at a minimum. in this context, TRAI has set that Special Tariff Vouchers (STVs) and band Vouchers which were till now allowed just for home tariffs will be permitted for roaming tariffs. this may offer the service suppliers the best potential flexibility in customizing tariffs for his or her roaming subscribers. Further, TRAI has also mandated the service suppliers to offer special plans for roaming subscribers in which such subscribers can avail of partially free roaming, or absolutely free roaming in place of payment of fastened charges.
All subscribers can enjoy the reduced ceilings: competitive rating below the new ceiling levels is expected. the availability for STVs and band Vouchers further as special tariff plans for roaming tariff can permit the service suppliers to cater to the precise roaming wants of different client segments. The new regime provides reduced ceilings and free roaming facilities for roamers without impacting customers who don’t use the roaming facility.