As announced by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), a telecom operator can now charge Rs 1.15 per minute compared to the previous Rs 1.5 for STD calls on roaming. Similarly, national SMS rates have also been reduced to 38 paise from Rs 1.5 per SMS for the users effective from May 1, 2015.
Usually, one rupee is charged for each local SMS we send from our mobile phones. But now the price is now reduced to 0.25 paise for each local SMS. For incoming calls during roaming, a mobile customer will be required to pay a maximum of 45 paise only per minute instead of 75 paise now which is of a great benefit to the users. With the new structure, call charges will fall by 20% while messaging rates will decline by 75%, benefiting millions of subscribers who make calls or send messages while travelling outside their home circles.
TRAI though has increased the ceiling tariffs for outgoing local and STD calls from 65 paise a minute and Rs 1 per minute, respectively, to the tariffs that it had proposed in February this year. Leading telecom companies had asked the regulator to consider raising the ceiling price on outgoing local calls during roaming, ET had reported on March 12.
However, the mandate will still impact top carriers. As per TRAI data, about Rs 8,000 crore, or 6% of the industry’s total revenue, comes from roaming, most of which goes to Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, which have more affluent customers, brokerage Credit Suisse had said. It estimated a 34% hit (on 65 paise a minute call rate ceiling) on revenue if the drop in tariffs is not compensated by an increase in usage or volumes and quipped that customer behaviour would not allow this arbitrage to continue. Anyway keeping behind all these aspects, just enjoy the new service plans provided by the telecom operators.