FREE National Roaming by October 2013 : Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal

Telecom minister Kapil Sibal today said that mobile phone consumers will get Free National Roaming Facility across India by October 2013 as announced in National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012.

Kapil Sibal Gets Telecom Ministry

However Kapil Sibal could not specify the exact dates for the launch of  Free National Roaming Service in India, but said that “FREE Roaming will certainly be in place by the month of October, 2013”. With this service, the roaming charges on Incoming calls are waived and mobile users in all telecom circles will be able to get FREE incoming calls while traveling to any other circles across India.

India’s  National Telecom Policy 2012 was approved by the Central Government in May 2012 and under the policy, the Government had said that national roaming would be made free with the introduction of concept of “One Nation, One License” which was expected in March 2013.

However all mobile service providers (except Reliance Mobile) including leading operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular had been opposing Free roaming in the consultation process by Telecom regulator TRAI and said that it will hit their margins badly and outgoing call rates may be increased.

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  • Radha Donti - Tirupati November 27, 2014 4:10 pm

    I want a clarification of one sim one nation!!!!! Finally when was it implemented.

  • sunil May 14, 2014 7:15 am

    sir kya ap muje bata sakte h ke uninor pe punjab me roaming free ho sakti h .
    or punjab me up ki sim idea network par chal rahi h kya iski roaming free ho sakti h pls …….

  • Vikram Soni May 10, 2014 11:29 am

    Sirf roaming coming free ho jaye roaming outgoing ke charges chahe kuchh bhi le .
    government bhi kuchh nahi kar rahi h yeh government hi crypt h companies kya karegi
    yeh sab spectrum ghotalo ki badolat h

  • jeet March 9, 2013 9:43 am

    kya farak padta hai,roaming or local plan same ho gaya h.
    .90pm local std .roaming also 1re min,

    2012 oct to 2013.
    Its a election plan

  • SS March 7, 2013 10:08 am

    Now october, roaming will never be free. In October, the date will be postponed to March and in March to October and election will come in which congress would lose and new party would come who would reverse/ stop all the plans!

    • DB March 11, 2013 4:52 pm

      Roaming should NOT be free – till such time as OG rates are made Rs 5/min (Local & STD) with Rs 3/min (Local & STD) for users of Tariff Cutters – in UAE one call costs 1.00 AED (Rs 15). If INDIA is not a Papuper Nation why not 1/3rd the tariff here ???

      • sujeet March 13, 2013 8:07 pm

        very silly comment. looks inspired by congress party. dear if currency there is one AED then customers pay 1 unit but india customer also pays 1 unit. if you are not agree than tell telecom operators to pay its employees also in AED rather than rs.
        very unfortunate you r getting in dollars from customers and paying employees in rupees. tell me why?

  • ARUN March 6, 2013 6:16 pm

    BSNL offers FREE ROAMING. Refer for the particular circle

  • koteswaraRao.Nerella March 6, 2013 10:26 am

    It is rediculous to make the roaming free when all the prices of each and every commodity is increasing by leaps and bounds in the UPA regime.You make the necessities of common man cheap by reducing serrvice tax/sales tax , income tax etc., and let the roaming charges be there.Where is the question of one license and one India concept when the operators are allowed to chose poafitable circles before bidding.Roaming is not the common man’s necessity and it is business man’s necessity.Let them pay.

    • DB March 11, 2013 4:53 pm

      1st Sensible Comment on this entire Post !!!

  • Deep March 6, 2013 9:56 am

    With Election 2014 around the corner and nothing on hand to brag about, they have to impose this all kind of scheme. along with the national roaming the carrier will be bound to raise the call cost. so ultimately its to back square one.

  • Sam From Kashmir March 5, 2013 10:56 pm

    Bring Aircel Free Roaming Plans newlly Launched and Enjoyed at 1 Paisa tariff

  • karan March 5, 2013 8:42 pm

    Totally Mismanagement….wastage of resources…..

  • S.SUDHAKAR March 5, 2013 2:59 pm

    Technologically slum India.

  • Mitesh March 5, 2013 1:50 pm

    yeh corrupt govt aur telecom companies ne 10 saal se national roaming ke naam pe customers ko loota hai. ab koi kasar baaki hai kya? koi bhi country charge nahi leti roaming mein within country aur hum itne saal se apne hi desh mein ek hi network pe roaming ke charge bhartey aa rahe hai. in companies ka pet kab bhargea? aise hi thodi airtel ne africa mein zain ko kharida. India k customers se loota aur foreign mein companies kharid rahe hai aur service quality k naam pe zero.

  • a March 5, 2013 12:26 pm

    I for one, anyway, am happy they are removing roaming. I travel a lot and its a real pain in the behind to be roaming constantly especially when you consider that there isnt any other country in the world with the concept of national roaming within the same operator. That includes countries much bigger in size than India.

  • Priya Singh March 5, 2013 10:18 am

    Guys. please help me. is it possible to unlock reliance huwai ec 1262 modem?plz help me.

  • Prashoor March 5, 2013 8:29 am

    This is an flop Idea from my concern.
    TRAI should make mandatory for every network operator, to provide with STV’s, through which one can change his circle temporarily(1, month, 3 months etc), rather than to make roaming free. If this happens companies will put all the load on consumers.
    (It will be just like Airtel’s world sim, in which we have to send an sms through normal sim which Airtel world sim gets activated for any requested country, but just without changing the sim.).
    I hope people understand my view.

  • S.Sudhakar March 5, 2013 6:14 am

    Correction :

    It is not spectrum free. It is spectrum fee.

  • S.Sudhakar March 4, 2013 9:25 pm

    To telecomtalk :

    Where is my previous post?.

    • DB March 11, 2013 4:54 pm


  • S.Sudhakar March 4, 2013 8:46 pm

    All operators have increased the base tariff to Rs.0.025 per second. Then whats the use in free roaming?. The existing roaming tariff of Rs.1.00 for local outgoing and all incoming calls and Rs.1.50 for all SMS and outgoing STD calls (all per minute and per SMS basis) is far more better.

    Roaming must not be made free. If it is made free, home network’s booster pack tariff (call, SMS and data) must be applicable while roaming.
    For example : If you have enabled a booster pack giving the benefit of all local calls at Rs.0.30 and all STD calls at Rs.0.60 in home network and if he roams into a circle, CIRCLE 2, then all local calls within circle 2 must be charged at Rs.0.30 per minute and STD calls (when called from circle 2) i.e., calls outside circle 2 must be charged Rs.0.60 per minute.

    The sad thing is that if a international roamer (with foreign SIM) roams in India, whole India is treated as one circle and he is charged accordingly (calls within the roaming country, calls outside the roaming country and calls to the home country etc). But when an Indian subscriber holding Indian SIM has to pay extra charges when travelling across India.

    What the operators are saying is correct. The government has collected spectrum free for each telecom circle. If roaming is made free, will the government refund the spectrum free on pro-rata basis (that is the time till the roaming was chargeable) to the operators?. I think thats why operators are opposing free roaming. Nothing else.

    October 2013 means the government itself is indirectly telling the mobile operators to increase the tariff before free roaming implementation. Thats why the government has given time for the operators to increase the tariff.

  • Jagannath March 4, 2013 6:50 pm

    What is the use of free roaming when the base tariff for outgoing calls has been increased to 2.5p/sec??
    Also, the cost of all rate cutters, sms packs & data packs have been hiked and the validity, benefits have been reduced.

    Looking at the scene I would say it is better not to have free roaming. If any one wants free roaming, then he/she may use BSNL or Aircel Roaming packs.

  • jaibeer yadav March 4, 2013 5:56 pm

    network to improve karao pehle

  • Vinod March 4, 2013 5:55 pm

    All nonsense! Mr. Kapil Sibal don’t give foolish commitment to the people. The implementation is far beyond your reaches and you’re a lame duck!

  • Yukthi March 4, 2013 5:45 pm

    Why they r taking this much time to make it free………? If any operator come forward for any extensions in time then this date will be further extended…. I hate all these policies.. Operators are now looking forward to increase the rates by saying roaming free charges… ie poor customer those who r not using roaming hav to carry the burden

  • adarsh March 4, 2013 5:34 pm

    kapil sibbal is just a joker…………nice jok…..thanks

  • AsitPaul, Agartala March 4, 2013 5:27 pm

    Free Roaming will be implement just before 2014 Union Elections. Not before that. I can bet!

  • kingston March 4, 2013 5:09 pm

    With help of Kabil Sibal, all operators already hiked their local tariff as well as GPRS tariff. Kabil sibal can not stop the 3G roaming pact (becos he is favour with Airtel) then i dont know how he is going to implement free roaming (Becos Airtel opposing free roaming). The date definitely will post postponded to 2014 but due to Election they may implement before march 2014 to get votes. If a minister is genuine what he will do, decrease the call rate and implement free roaming but here he is supporting operator to increase call rate and implement free roaming? See TT readers this is what our Corrupt Kapil Sibal. Village side people and students only using 2G internet if they increasr tariff then how the internet penetration reaches in the village level? Really a foolish minister. I dont know how he is prepared NTP 2012.

  • teletalk March 4, 2013 4:52 pm

    good news for mobile users but you see when roaming is free the operators increase call rates and we are not enjoy free roaming service in on real basis

  • Rahul March 4, 2013 4:01 pm

    Why I am not surprised. In Oct 2013, two Govt Operators would say they are not ready and the dates will be pushed in March 2014. Then again Nov 2014 and then finally it will be rolled on Jan 2015.
    I can be a good astrologer. 😉

    • Sunil Yadav March 4, 2013 5:53 pm

      you r right….

  • Jitendra March 4, 2013 3:07 pm

    Hahahahaha good Joke……………Kapil Sibal is the one of the Joker…. After few days he will again postponed it for Mar 2014…Oct 2014 ………………..& its goes on & on……….

  • Ganesh March 4, 2013 2:55 pm

    Free is a perspective thing. Really free roaming should not have ANY kind of price increases to the current structure. But now what the govt did was the complete opposite. Increase the current local tariffs to roaming like tariffs and then call roaming free!! They might even advertise it as call STD at the rate of local calls. But the truth is that we are forced to call local calls at STD rates!!!

    • kingston March 4, 2013 5:15 pm

      100% correct Mr.Ganesh. When roaming free the local call rate will be Rs 1.50. Its sure. A minister must take all decision favour to people but here kabil sibal is favour with Operators. Why he is unable to implement free roaming without tariff hike?

      • Lalit Kumar K March 5, 2013 9:12 am

        Hi, People in India likes Free… One thing to put in here.. Government have collected Spectrum Fee for all circles where the operator have presented. Now they are coming with an Unified Spectrum for one Nation. Believe that % of roaming revenues will be less than Rs.9 per sub for any operator. Currently operators have to create a temporary number in their systems to make the customer roam in the other circle. As they are not collecting any Roaming charges unlike before 2007, the tariff rate is imposed. Believe that this will not have any big impact except the customer will not take any other temporary SIM if he goes into other circle.

        If the Diesel/ Power cost goes on increasing in the same fashion for next 2years, the average call cost per subscriber will be 90ps/min

        Currently even after paying the money for Tariff cutter, companies started charging either for first minute or first 2 minutes at higher rate.

        If the Government take these kind of bold steps, unnecessary pack activations on customer mobile increases.

        Make the customer aware about Do Not Disturb services before Oct’13 so that the companies doesn’t loot the customers money

  • Esmail March 4, 2013 2:38 pm

    NTP 2012 also stated that all the future allocations will de link spectrum from license, and issue every operator a One nation One license with a fixed license fee, thus enabling them to become pan India operators. in circles where they dont have their own spectrum they could share, lease trade or pool spectrum and establish their network. This part of the NTP has not been implemented, otherwise operators like Uninor, Videocon, MTS who operate in 6 or 12 circles could lease spectrum from pan India operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Rcom and actually be able to offer Nation wide free roaming like the other telecom Giants.
    The Nov 2012 and March 2013 auctions for 800MHz and 1800MHz still had the same policy of License linked to spectrum allocation. Only change that was actually implemented was that the fresh spectrum was technology independent, which enabled Videocon to offer LTE on 1800MHz.

  • SADANAND KUMAR March 4, 2013 2:29 pm

    kapil sibal apne ko hoshiya samajta hai. paise se to wakil hai aur “Tarik pa
    Tarikh” wala kahawat uspe sahi baitah hai. tabhi last ek saal se date badhta ja raha hai. Roaming ke liya sara Operator apna tariff badhaya aur validity kam kar diya hai aur phir jab october aayega to UPA2 gir jayegi aur Roaming Free ka date Phir 6 month Badh jayega.

  • hari March 4, 2013 2:22 pm

    3g to aam aadmi k pass pahle pahuchao tab 4g ki baat karna

  • jax_ March 4, 2013 2:06 pm

    opposing of airtel idea is rediculous! if telecom service started with this policy then roming means nothing to them.

  • Dhirendra March 4, 2013 2:02 pm

    Are yaar ab to kardo kab tak bewakuf banawoge.
    Aur private company walo harmkhori mat karo jo ho rha hai ho jane do. Apane jeb bharna band karo…

  • BIBHUTI March 4, 2013 1:27 pm

    govt. aur mobile company dono milkar public ko bebkuph bana rhi hai aur kuch nahi. roaming free ke nam par sare company ne call rate bhi mangha kar diya

  • Sunil Yadav March 4, 2013 1:10 pm

    kripya logo ko gumrah na kare…

  • Sanjay Mishra March 4, 2013 1:08 pm

    Pata nahi yaar kab hoga roming free India ……..last year se sun rahe hai…………………………….aur 4G kab ayega ????????

  • Sunil Yadav March 4, 2013 1:06 pm

    kaise mane pahle bhi kai baar kah chuke hai.
    inka koi vishwas na kare october ke baad ek nahi date aa jayegi…

    • ko May 30, 2013 5:17 pm

      i know no roaming free in any coast.

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