NEW DELHI: Starting next month, mobile calls while on roaming will be cheaper by up to 23%, while sending a local SMS will cost only 25 paise, a steep cut of 75% from the present Re 1, as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has slashed ceiling tariffs. However, following this Trai order, subscribers will not be able to avail of schemes that allowed them to make calls and send SMSs while on roaming at home circle rates.
“Trai has mandated telecom service providers to offer a special roaming tariff plan. These changes will come into effect from May 1, 2015,” Trai said in a statement on Thursday. Trai cut the maximum, or ceiling, rate that a telecom operator can charge for STD calls on roaming to Rs 1.15 per minute from Rs 1.5. Similarly, national SMS rate has been reduced to 38 paise from Rs 1.5 per SMS.
Under the revised local tariff, a telecom operator can charge a maximum of 80 paise per minute for a local call instead of Re 1 permitted at present. Reacting to the revised tariff, director general of industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Rajan S Mathews, said that a revision in roaming rates should have been left to market forces. He, however, added, “I am glad that the authority differentiated between local and roaming rates because it recognized that there is an STD interconnect charges component which has to be recovered.”