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Free roaming is not free after all!

Free roaming is not free after all!
‘Free’ mobile roaming on payment of a fixed fee and booking of rail tickets through SMS, both the decisions taken last week by the government, will be implemented from today.

The most awaited decision of the telecom regulator TRAI to allow free mobile roaming on payment of a fixed fee, which got a green signal last week, will begin from today. The decision also said to reduce national roaming charges for others by up to 57 percent.
TRAI, however, said making national roaming completely free of charges is not practical as of now.

‘The authority has decided to reduce the ceiling (upper price for roaming call and SMS rates) across board, permitting telecom providers to issue special tariff voucher and mandating that a roaming plan will be offered (for post paid customers),’ TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar told reporters here.

The ceilings on roaming charges prescribed by Trai in 2007 were Rs 1.40 per minute for outgoing local calls and Rs 2.40 per minute for outgoing STD calls. These ceilings have been reduced to Re 1 per minute for outgoing local calls and Rs 1.50 per minute for outgoing STD calls.

Similarly, the ceiling for incoming calls while on national roaming has been reduced from Rs 1.75 per minute to 75 paise per minute.

The new plans will be among the 25 tariff plans that a company is allowed to offer to its customers.
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