Trai to soon start public consultation for free roaming

Telecom regulator Trai today said it will soon begin a public consultation process for implementation of free telecom roaming in the country.

"These are matters that are still to be decided. The question of whether national roaming should be free is a tariff related issue.

"It is a matter on which Trai is competent to take a decision," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman Rahul Khullar told reporters on the sidelines of 'Telecom India 2012' conclave organised by Ficci.

"Very soon, you will see us take the first move in that direction. There will be a public consultation preceeding any final decision in the matter," he added.

Asked if Trai has received any reference from the Department of Telecom (DoT) so far, Khullar said free roaming was announced as part of the National Telecom Policy 2012.

In September, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had said mobile phone subscribers will not have to pay roaming charges with implementation of "one nation, free roaming" announced earlier this year.

The government is hopeful of implementing free roaming in the country from next year.
National Telecom Policy 2012, approved in May, aims to abolish roaming charges and allow mobile phone subscribers to use same number across country without having to pay extra charges for services once they are outside their telecom circle.

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