So, the roaming free India is about to kickstart from three days to now. For the uninitiated, Airtel has already announced the scrapping of domestic roaming in the country, and the changes will be effective from April 1, 2017. That said, Airtel won’t charge you anything extra even if you are on roaming.
The scrapping of national roaming means that customers can enjoy free incoming calls/SMS, and there will be no premium on outgoing calls under roaming as well. And the best part is there will be no additional charges for data services. The same data packs are applicable for customers even they roam outside their home circle.
Nevertheless, none of us expected this brave move from the leading telecom operator in India and the apparent reason for this is the rapid rise of Reliance Jio. This step came at the right time from Airtel as the Jio’ free services are scheduled to end on March 31, 2017. From April 1, all the 100 million subscribers under Reliance Jio should either pay to use the services or just throw away the SIM card.
Also, Airtel is the frontrunner in one aspect- international roaming. Along with the removal of national roaming, Airtel announced a new international pack of Rs. 651 under which the consumers will get unlimited incoming calls, 300MB data, 100 free minutes to India, and 100 free SMSs per day with one-day validity. That’s a quite handy pack. However, if you’re unable to enlist in the pack, you will be charged Rs. 3/min and Rs. 3/MB.
On the flip side, the new entrant Reliance Jio also has international roaming plans, but they are just ISD rate cutters and nowhere comes near to the Airtel’s offering.
Following the footprints of Airtel, Idea Cellular also announced the removal of national roaming. While Airtel clearly said that the calls and data rates would be charged the same anywhere in the nation, but Idea claimed that the customers could make outgoing calls and SMSs at nominal rates on roaming. That essentially means that Idea won’t be offering the services for free, but will indeed charge something from customers, and we don’t have any information regarding this for now.
All said and done; Airtel has done a right thing by removing the national roaming at the right time. Also, the company will come with some new tariff plans on either March 31 or April 1 focusing on roaming, and other things or either they will ditch all the roaming plans available currently.