The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a draft amendment to the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999 to cut short the roaming charges of SMS and voice calls for the subscribers in the country. The draft suggests that the TRAI is looking at a 35% decline in the voice call charges, and a drop of 80% in the SMS tariff. The government institute is waiting for the stakeholders to reply to it.
“In view of the lack of competition witnessed in the present national roaming services market, the Authority is of the opinion that the best way forward is to prescribe cost based ceiling tariffs for voice calls while on national roaming,” Trai said in a draft amendment to its Tariff Order of 1999. “Through the Amendment Order, the Authority intends to reduce the ceiling tariffs for national roaming services.”
The proposal suggests that the charges for the outgoing local and inter-circle calls to cut from Rs. 1.00 to Rs. 0.65 and Rs. 1.50 to Rs. 1.00 per minute respectively. Whereas, the SMS charges for the same will be cut down to Rs 0.20 and 0.25 respectively.
Apart from this, TRAI now also allows the subscribers to port their existing number from one state to another, which will help the customers to retain their current mobile number.
However, this is not the first time when TRAI has asked the telecom companies to reduce the roaming charges, or even remove it. TRAI asked the telecom companies to introduce plans that can help subscribers save their balance in the guest territory. Currently, almost every enterprise in the country supports small plans to avail free incoming calls in other states.
Back in the year 2013, TRAI was also in talks with the telecom services to remove the roaming charges in the country, however, the plan never saw the daylight for the fact that telecom companies still generate a revenue of 8% from it.