Idea, Vodafone, Airtel, RCom Reduce Roaming Charges Upto 75%!
Indian telecom industry is now slowly but gradually inching towards One Nation One Sim policy which was proposed in 2012. In a latest round of rate cuts, roaming charges have been slashed by India’s top 4 telecom providers: Idea, Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance.
Last month, TRAI had reduced the ceiling tariffs for nation-wide roaming charges and mandated all telecom companies to reduce roaming rates. TRAI specifically mandated that a telecom operator in India can charge a maximum of Rs 1.15 for STD calls on roaming (down from Rs 1.50) and SMS should only be charged 38 paisa maximum on roaming (down from Rs 1.50) along with 25 paisa for local SMS against Re 1 which is currently the norm.
This time, telecom operators didn’t consume much time in realigning the tariffs rates, and announced the changes within 3 weeks of TRAI’s diktat.
Airtel has announced that while in roaming, their customers will now pay 75% less for local outgoing SMS and inter-circle SMS will be cheaper by 74%. Incoming call rates have been reduced upto 40% and outgoing local calls have been reduced 20%. Inter-circle outgoing calls are now cheaper by 23%.
As per Vodafone’s new pricing policy, local text message on roaming has been slashed 75% as their users will only pay 25 paisa, compared to Re 1 earlier. For text message sent outside the local circle, the charge would be 38 paisa, down from Rs 1.50 earlier (reduction of 74.6%). Similarly, outgoing local calls while in roaming will cost 80 paisa now, compared to Re 1 earlier(reduction of 20%), and calls to non-local circle will cost Rs 1.15 compared to Rs 1.50 (reduction of 23.3%)
Idea has also updated their voice tariffs. All incoming calls on Idea network while roaming would be charged 45 paisa per minute, which is a reduction of 40% from current charges. For outgoing calls, 20% reduction have been announced for local circle and 23% for non-local calls in roaming. Sending SMS while roaming will cost 25 paisa for local circle and 38 paisa for inter-circle SMS.
Following TRAI’s orders, Reliance has also announced massive cuts in roaming rates. 40% reduction has been announced for incoming calls while roaming, and outgoing call charges have been reduced to 45 paisa from 75 paisa. Similarly, 75% reduction for text messages have been provisioned.
As per Morgan Stanley’s internal research, this reduction in roaming charges will result in 2% less revenues for telecom operators; 4% reduction in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization).