India's telecom sector regulator, the Telecom regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper inviting views on roaming charges for voice calls and SMS messages in the country on telecom networks.
TRAI has proposed various measures to reduce roaming charges including a regulation called Home Price Rule, under which a mobile subscriber will have to pay the same amount on roaming as in the home circle. TRAI figures showed that mobile phone users pay Re. 1 for outgoing calls, Rs. 1.5 for outgoing STD calls and Re. 1 for incoming calls while the outgoing SMS messages are charged Rs. 1.5 per message. On the other hand, a customer pays
72p for local calls, 90p for an STD call, Re. 1 for local SMS and between Rs. 1.5 and Rs 3.45 for STD SMS.
TRAI said in its consultation paper said, "It is deemed necessary to undertake an exercise to review the framework for tariffs for national roaming. An additional consideration for carrying out this review is to address the objective of working towards "One Nation - Free Roaming" stated in the National Telecom Policy 2012."
The removal of roaming charges was earlier proposed as part of the National Telecom Policy 2012 of the government for governing the telecom sector in the country. The NTP 2012, which was approved by the government in May, allows mobile phone users to use the same number across the country without paying extra charges, besides doing away with any roaming charges.