New Delhi: With new TRAI guidelines on roaming tariffs having come into effect from Monday (July 1), mobile phone users can now breathe easy and talk more outside their home circles.

Roaming call charges had become a bone of contention between TRAI and the cell operators, with the regulatory body adamant on having no roaming charge and the operators opposing it tooth and nail. With this decision of TRAI, both the warring parties seem to have found a middle ground.

Monday’s decision allows two modes of roaming charges on prepaid mobiles, in the first one, the user pays zero roaming after payment of a fixed fee while in the second, he pays no fixed fee, but enjoys the luxury of talking at reduced rates.

Being the first one to bite the bullet, India's largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel has launched its roaming plan for its prepaid subscribers.

Under the new plan, the customers will need to pay Rs 5 a day for receiving calls at no charge and will have to pay 1.5 paise per second for both local and national outgoing calls. The other operators are likely to follow suit soon.

Under the second provision the operators can offer customers roaming facility at reduced rates. Under this plan, the operators can charge up to Rs 1 per minute for local outgoing calls and up to Rs 1.50 per minute for outgoing STD calls. For incoming calls, the operators can charge the users 75 paise per minute.

JPN/Bureau

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