In a news which can bring smiles to about six crore mobile subscribers in present Andhra Pradesh Telecom circle, it is now confirmed that post State division (on June 2) customers will not have to pay roaming charges. The reason for this is roaming charges are applied on the basis of LSA (License Service Area) and not geographical boundaries. Heads of different telecommunication service providers have spoken in this regard to The Hindu:
BSNL AP CGM, V. Srinivasan:
Roaming comes into effect only when a subscriber goes out of what is defined as the Licence Service Area (LSA) and not the State, geographically-speaking.
Circle Business Head-Mobility (CBH) of Tata Docomo Abhijit Kishore:
It was the license that mattered and that there would be no difference in the perspective of handling the company’s approximately 65.21 lakh subscribers.
CBH of Vodafone, Mandeep Bhatia explained the facts citing how Goa and Maharashtra are two States, but have one telecom circle, as are Chhattisgarh (Madhya Pradesh) and Jharkhand (Bihar). On the other hand, Chennai and Tamil Nadu are two circles, like Kolkata and West Bengal, Mumbai and Maharashtra.
In a similar matter, the CAG has asked the DoT to reply to its draft report wherein it was alleged that Chennai and Tamil Nadu service areas were "hastefully" merged resulting in "undue benefit" of Rs 2,400 crore to Airtel and Aircel. [Economic Times]