Aircel has become the first Indian Telecom Operator to offer uniform rates across India, be it local or roaming. Currently, when mobile users move out of their existing “home” circle to any of the 22 designated telecom circles, they have to pay additional charges by way of roaming.
Last year under the New Telecom Policy, Government had announced that it will be bringing a unified One Nation, One Sim policy where mobile users can use single sim at same standard rates through out the country. The Telecom Operators had opposed this move citing already thin margins and low call rates.
However, Aircel seems to have gone against the tide and became the first Indian telecom operator to announce “Aircel One Nation, One Rate” plan.
Aircel’s One Nation, One Rate plan benefits:
- For Voice Calls: Call rates of 1 paise per second in home circle as well as while roaming on Aircel Network
- Incoming voice calls will be free on Aircel Network
- For SMSes: Uniform rate of Rs. 1 per SMS will be levied on local as well as national SMS
- For Data usage: Home circle data rates will be applicable while on roaming as well
It is quite interesting that while operators like Idea and Airtel are moving in opposite direction by cutting the freebies and even increasing the call rates by nearly double in some cases. At the same time, Aircel has gone ahead with path-breaking roaming free offerings.
With this launch, some telecom operators may be forced to adopt similar plans for their users because with MNP in place, users can easily switch to Aircel network to take advantage of free roaming across nation. Even without MNP, due to popularity of dual sim phones, Aircel stand to gain a lot of market share with this move.
The free roaming facility will especially be useful to frequent travelers, who currently incur huge costs while they are out of their home circle.
Although, other telecom operators had opposed the move of free roaming across country, Aircel’s move is probably going to be the turning point. I am assuming others will follow suite as well.
What’s your take on this?