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Vodafone Announces Free National Roaming From Diwali. Is It Enough To Counter Jio?

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In a bid to encounter the free and unlimited lifetime voice offering Reliance Jio, Vodafone has announced free incoming while roaming across the country from this Diwali.

Both Prepaid and Postpaid Vodafone subscribers would be able to enjoy free roaming in the country from 30 October. It is worth noting that while the mobile subscribers are ready to pay a little more charges for making outgoing calls while roaming, the fact that even the incoming calls would be charged poses as a hurdle for talking their heart out with their friends and families.

“Even though outgoing charges while roaming had become comparable to home charges, consumer research has shown that incoming charges while roaming have been a hindrance to worry free usage,” said Sandeep Kataria, Director – Commercial, Vodafone India.

Vodafone had launched international daily roaming pack in August 2016, which allows the subscribers to stay connected with their near and dear ones while travelling across the world. The pack costs Rs. 500/day and offers free incoming calls, outgoing calls @ Rs. 1/minute and 1 MB data @ Rs. 1.

“Along with our recently launched International Roaming Daily pack which makes International Roaming worry free, we are now confident that Vodafone India customers will not be holding back conversations while travelling nationally or internationally on Vodafone SuperNet,” Kataria added.

Roaming charges have been decreasing in India over the past few years with some operators offering even ‘per second’ rates. However, most of the telecom operators offer free incoming calls while roaming only when the user recharges with a certain ‘Roaming STV’ pack.

Can Vodafone Encounter Reliance Jio With This Offer?

Short answer- Not really.

While it is a welcome move from Vodafone to offer free incoming calls while roaming, Reliance Jio on the other hand has completely abolished the concept known as ‘National Roaming’. Jio offers free and unlimited voice calls to its subscribers irrespective of their location, home circle or while roaming.

Jio users can also enjoy free calls on special days like Diwali, Holi, New Year, etc. when other telecom operators charge regular rate (rate cutter pack not valid) on these so called ‘Blackout days’.

It remains to be seen how other leading telcos respond to this Vodafone announcement, especially Airtel and Idea. But one thing is certain, the telecom operators have to do away with extra roaming charges either now or later.

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